Cutelaba pulled from UFC 217 following failed anti-doping test

Friday, November 03, 2017

Timing is everything.

UFC light heavyweight Ion Cutelaba was pulled today from Saturday’s fight vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk at UFC 217, based on his answer or answers on a pre-fight disclosure form associated with an out-of-competition anti-doping test on Oct. 18 and Oct. 19


The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Ion Cutelaba of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from its investigation into voluntary disclosures by Cutelaba during an out-of-competition sample collections on October 18 and October 19, 2017. USADA has provisionally suspended Cutelaba and his fight against Michal Oleksiejczuk has been cancelled from the November 4, 2017, UFC 217 fight card.

USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Cutelaba. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.

The Moldovan fighter is 2-2 in the UFC, and coming off a first round KO of Henrique da Silva at UFC Fight Night 110 in June.

While there is some reason to think that PEDs were a major problem in MMA prior to USADA and remain a major problem outside the UFC, that does not rationally translate to assuming every fighter with a flagged test is guilty of PED use. As of now, Cutelaba is guilty of nothing. For example, in a little over a year, Ning Guangyou, Li Jingliang, Augusto Montano, and Brandon Moreno each was flagged for Clenbuterol, but eventually found No Fault due to the ubiquity of trace elements of Clenbuterol in the food chain in Mexico and China. As noted, Cutelaba will be subject to a fair investigation, with full details becoming known in time.