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UFC newcomer released for drug that caused doping scandal involving Sharapova, Makhachev

UFC flyweight Carlos Mota has been released from the promotion after testing positive for a banned substance that caused a doping scandal in 2016.

Carlos Mota lost his UFC debut to Cody Durden.
Carlos Mota lost his UFC debut to Cody Durden.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Former LFA flyweight champion Carlos Mota’s UFC stint was a brief and problematic one.

After accepting to face Cody Durden on short notice to enter the world’s biggest MMA promotion and losing the fight, the Brazilian has now tested positive for banned substance Meldonium. The turn of events not only led to a two-year suspension from the NSAC, but also to his UFC release, MMA Junkie reports.

A common performance enhancing drug in Eastern Europe, Meldonium is classified as a metabolic modulator by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and became a banned drug in 2016. Such substances are said to have the ability to modify how some hormones accelerate or slow down different enzymatic reactions in the body.

There was a massive doping scandal around that 2016 Meldonium ban, with dozens of popular Russian and other Eastern European athletes involved such as tennis superstar Maria Sharapova and boxing champ Alexander Povetkin.

Future UFC champion Islam Makhachev also tested positive for Meldonium back in 2016, but USADA found him “not at fault” as he was reportedly prescribed the drug for a medical procedure, and stopped using it prior to the ban.

Prior to the unanimous decision loss to Durden in his Octagon debut, Mota (8-2) was on a two-fight winning streak, with knockout wins in the regional circuit over Rizvan Abuev and Steven Merill in 2022.

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