Rachael Ostovich’s return to the Octagon is going to be delayed a while longer. The former Ultimate Fighter Season 26 contender has only competed three times in the UFC since entering the promotion, largely due to a series of ongoing injury struggles. Her last time in the cage came against Paige VanZant in January of 2019. Ostovich lost the bout via arm bar in the second round.
Ostovich has since been booked for a bout against Polyana Viana in August of last year, and Shana Dobson back in February of 2020. Eventually she was forced to withdraw from both events, however, the latter due to a failed drug test—caused by what USADA later identified as a tainted supplement. The drug testing agency released a statement via the UFC website on Thursday, regarding Ostovich’s suspension.
Ostovich-Berdon, 29, tested positive for ostarine and GW1516 (also known as GW-501516) metabolites GW1516 sulfone and GW1516 sulfoxide as the result of a urine sample collected out-of-competition on January 3, 2020. Ostarine is a non-Specified Substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and GW1516 is a non-Specified Substance in the category of Hormone and Metabolic Modulators. These substances are prohibited at all times under the UFC ADP and UFC Prohibited List.
During an investigation into the circumstances of the positive test, Ostovich-Berdon identified a supplement she had tried which was analyzed at the World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah. Although ostarine and GW1516 were not listed on the supplement label, the analysis revealed that the product contained ostarine and GW1516, the substances for which Ostovich-Berdon tested positive. The product label listed another prohibited substance, but Ostovich-Berdon did not realize at the time that it was prohibited. Consistent with other cases with similar circumstances, USADA determined that a small reduction from the default two-year period of ineligibility was justified.
In addition to the circumstantial reduction, Ostovich’s suspension was reportedly further reduced as part of the UFC’s recently created “Full and Complete Cooperation” guideline. That guideline was put in place as part of the UFC’s revision of their anti-doping policy in November of last year, and “may be granted in the event that an athlete demonstrates that they did not intend to enhance their performance and provided full, prompt, and truthful responses and information to all reasonable inquiries and requests for information.”
USADA did however note that despite the “Certified Supplement” guidelines that were also put in place to potential entirely free an athlete from liability for ingestion of tainted products, the supplements Ostovich used were not on that certified list. Ostovich should be free to return to competition on January 3rd, 2021—one year from the date of her failed drug test.