Nicco Montano among three others accept USADA suspensions

Nicco Montano

It has been an absolute rollercoaster ride of a career to this point for the inaugural UFC flyweight champion, Nicco Montano.

Entering The Ultimate Fighter season 26 as a bright prospect yet consensus underdog, Montano would go on to win the whole show and become the champion as she defeated some of the division’s best. Her crowning moment came on December 1, 2017.

Since then, Montano has dealt with some severe foot injuries that kept her out of action until September 2018. Only for her to be hospitalized during her weight cut for her scheduled first title defense against Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 228. Thus canceling the bout entirely and leading to her stripping of the championship.

USADA has now revealed that a month after the fight cancellation, Montano tested positive for ostarine as result of a tainted supplement. Therefore leading to her accepting a six-month suspension that expires next month.

Montano was among three other fighters to accept their suspensions. The full statement from USADA can be read below.

“USADA announced today that four athletes have accepted six-month sanctions for violating the UFC® Anti-Doping Policy after testing positive for trace amounts of ostarine consistent with supplement contamination.

“Ostarine is a non-Specified Substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List. Ostarine, also known as MK-2866 and Enobosarm, is a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) that is illegally sold worldwide as a performance-enhancing substance. Ostarine is not currently available as a prescription medication in any country, and its unauthorized use may carry serious side effects. Nonetheless, ostarine has commonly been found as a declared and undeclared ingredient in many dietary supplements. More information about the risks of ostarine can be found through a USADA athlete advisory.

“USADA’s athlete advisory recognizes the demonstrated prevalence of ostarine in a wide range of supplement products used by athletes (see USADA High Risk List for more than 70 products) and that ostarine has frequently been found as a product contaminant. The trace amounts of ostarine found in each of the athlete’s samples was made possible by sensitive laboratory detection capabilities. However, as detection windows increase and the potential time between ingestion and detection lengthens, it has become more difficult for athletes to identify a contaminated product that may be the source of their positive test. As a consequence, the investigation period in ostarine cases is frequently relatively long, as has been the case in each of the cases announced today.

“USADA has resolved the following cases, after conducting a thorough investigation and finding no evidence of intentional use, consistent with other supplement contamination cases:

“Augusto Mendes, 36, of Glendale, Ariz., tested positive for ostarine following an out-of-competition test conducted on March 7, 2018. He accepted a six-month period of ineligibility that began on March 20, 2018, the date he was provisionally suspended from competition.

“Marvin Vettori, 25, of Mezzocorona, Italy, tested positive for ostarine following an out-of-competition test conducted on August 24, 2018. He accepted a six-month period of ineligibility that began on August 24, 2018, the date he was provisionally suspended from competition.

“Sean O’Malley, 24, of Phoenix, Ariz., tested positive for ostarine following out-of-competition tests conducted on September 5, 2018 and December 8, 2018. His two positives were treated as a single, first violation because the amount of ostarine in both samples is consistent with ingestion prior to September 5, 2018. He accepted a six-month period of ineligibility that began on September 19, 2018, the date he was provisionally suspended from competition.

“Nicco Montano, 30, of Albuquerque, N.M., tested positive for ostarine following an out-of-competition test conducted on October 25, 2018. She accepted a six-month period of ineligibility that began on November 15, 2018, the date she was provisionally suspended from competition.”

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/27/2019