UFC Featherweight Yair Rodriguez Suspended for 6 Months

Yair Rodriguez, the high-profile UFC featherweight has been suspended by USADA for 6 months and the anti-doping authority has announced he has accepted his sanction.

The #4-ranked UFC featherweight Yair Rodriguez has been suspended by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for 6 months after accruing three Whereabouts violations. USADA has confirmed the sanction and “El Pantera’s” acceptance of said violation. Part of USADA’s testing regimen requires that rostered UFC fighters must notify them of their current location, including when relocating or traveling. Missed tests due to being uncontactable count as a violation and three violations in a year are considered the same as a positive test.

The Mexican’s suspension is post-dated from September 8th, the date the third violation occurred which means the soonest he is eligible to compete will be in March. Nick Diaz suffered a one-year suspension from USADA for the very same offense. Rodriguez has amassed a 13-2 record overall, with 1 NC. He was the #4 ranked UFC Featherweight and was slated to compete against Zabit Magomedsharipov.

The full USADA statement can be found below:

“USADA announced today that Yair Rodriguez, of Chihuahua, Mexico, has accepted a six-month sanction for a violation of the UFC® Anti-Doping Policy resulting from three Whereabouts Failures during a 12-month period.

Like all UFC athletes, Rodriguez, 28, is a member of the UFC Registered Testing Pool and is therefore subject to certain Whereabouts responsibilities, which allow him to be located for testing. Accurate Whereabouts information is a crucial component of an effective out-of-competition testing program because it enables anti-doping organizations to conduct no-notice sample collections, which helps maintain effective doping deterrence and detection.

Rodriguez failed to update his Whereabouts information and was unavailable for testing at locations provided in his Whereabouts Filings on three occasions. He accrued a Whereabouts Failure in each of the first three quarters of 2020. The accumulation of three Whereabouts Failures within a 12-month period constitutes a policy violation under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.

Rodriguez was eligible for a reduction in the period of ineligibility because his conduct did not raise suspicion that he was trying to avoid being available for testing. He received reductions based on his degree of fault and for his Full and Complete Cooperation.

Rodriguez’s six-month period of ineligibility began on September 8, 2020, the date on which his third Whereabouts Failure was declared against him.”

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