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Paulo Costa says ‘Wizard’ physician suspended by USADA is ‘still my doctor’

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Did Costa just openly talk about a USADA loophole?

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Brasilia Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

UFC middleweight contender Paulo Costa is still upset about the way USADA and the New York Athletic Commission treated him the last time he fought in the state, back in November 2017.

At the time, Costa was notified by USADA for allegedly taking a simple stomach medication called Plasil, which Paulo says led him from being pulled from a main event bout against Yoel Romero in April 2018. Later on, the NYAC decided to fine ‘Borrachinha’, but claims he has never paid the 9-thousand-dollar amount.

Per USADA, Paulo used intravenous injections to recover from weight cutting in two different occasions in 2017, which led to the punishment.

In an interview with Ag Fight, Costa says he never did anything wrong and does not understand why he was fined for taking a simple stomach medicine. Additionally, Paulo claims he will never in New York again, unless both USADA and the NYAC do right by him.

“Both the NYAC and USADA are on my black list. Just like Khabib won’t fight in Las Vegas because of the Commission, the New York one is on my black list now. They either pay what they owe me or I won’t fight there.”

Although Costa feels wronged, he understands that USADA has necessary role in MMA, but still does not agree with the way he has been treated, saying sometimes they go over the line in order to make an example out of certain fighters.

Costa used USADA’s “substantial assistance” clause to significantly reduce his punishment, and it instead resulted to his doctor being suspended for two years. Dr. Lucas Penchel technically cannot work with another UFC fighter as their “manager, coach, trainer, second, corner man, agent, or medical personnel” until March 17, 2022.

According to Costa though, that sanction “does not affect his work” as the “Wizard” is still his doctor.

“Dr. Lucas Penchel knows everything, I call him wizard. But USADA has an important and necessary role in the sport, which is to oversee substance abuse, that’s something I completely support.” Paulo said. “It made a lot of good for the sport and made it be respected. At the same time, they want to prove their worth and go over the line, punishing people that don’t deserve. The UFC puts a lot of money on USADA, so they need to show some work. Sometimes they go over the line and look for things that aren’t there, they look to punish people who did nothing wrong.”

“Dr. Lucas has never done anything wrong, he’s a reliable person. I had a dehydration problem and came this close of not being able to fight, my stomach hurt and everything. He helped us get a medical prescription and the allowed amount of saline solution. Because he’s a doctor and would not deny helping me, he prescribed that in order to ease the pain, all within USADA’s rules. We could not prove it, though, so USADA sanctioned the punishment. It does not affect his work, though. He’s still my doctor.”

Still undefeated in MMA, Costa (13-0) is on a five-fight winning streak in the Octagon, with his most recent victory being a August 2019 unanimous decision win over Yoel Romero. Before that, the 28-year-old scored knockout wins over Garreth McLellan, Oluwale Bamgbose, Johny Hendricks and Uriah Hall.