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Paulo Costa’s doctor suspended by USADA

A Brazilian doctor was issued a two-year suspension by USADA for prescribing IV infusions to UFC middleweight Paulo Costa

UFC 226: Hall v Costa Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

In 2019, top middleweight contender Paulo Costa was slapped with a six-month suspension for IV usage. “Borrachinha” was supposed to be given a two-year ban, but he chose to exercise the “substantial assistance” clause to reduce his punishment.

Now, everyone involved is getting sanctioned, including the doctor who made the prescription. On Monday, USADA announced its issuance of a two-year suspension to Dr. Lucas Penchel, who accepted the sanction on March 17.

“Dr. Lucas Penchel, of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, has accepted a two-year sanction for a violation of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy (UFC ADP) resulting from his complicity in the administration and use of over-limit intravenous (IV) infusions of permitted substances on June 2, 2017 and November 3, 2017 by Carlos Costa and Paulo Costa, respectively,” USADA said in the statement (via MMA Fighting).

“In 2017, IV infusions and/or injections of more than 50 mL per 6-hour period were prohibited except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital admissions, surgical procedures, or clinical investigations under the UFC ADP.

“The UFC ADP has since been amended and now prohibits IV infusions and/or injections of more than 100 mL per 12-hour period with the added exception of those determined to be medically justified and within the standard of care by a licensed physician and administered by a licensed medical professional.”

Costa previously told USADA that the IV was supposedly used to aid him in recovery from weight cutting. As for Dr. Penchel, he won’t be eligible to work with another UFC fighter as their “manager, coach, trainer, second, corner man, agent, or medical personnel” until March 17, 2022.