'Honest athlete' Ion Cutelaba breaks silence on USADA suspension

UFC light heavyweight Ion Cutelaba agreed to serve a six-month suspension from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, but that doesn’t mean he admits to being a cheater.

Cutelaba (13-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) recently had his suspension length announced after he declared he underwent ozone therapy on paperwork associated with a pair of out-of-competition drug tests conducted Oct. 18 and 19 of last year.

The issues caused Cutelaba to be pulled from a scheduled bout against Michal Oleksiejczuk at UFC 217 in November, and Cutelaba hasn’t competed since.

He finally broke his silence on the topic on social media. He released a statement today, claiming he didn’t intentionally cheat, and felt that was represented by the fact he can return to action as soon as May.

Instagram Photo

I accepted the suspension from USADA for 6 months, and after 3 May I can participate. I did not show anything positive

I’m an honest athlete!

now we’re looking for a fight! The Hulk is ready to fight again!

I’m a true sportsman and have never cheated the rules, it’s been a long way to justice but now we’re here! I want to thank @thefuelclinic , Saam Falahati, Iulia Barau and Paul Greene as without their support this would not be possible. I will be doing a public statement soon explaining everything, but thank you all for your trust and support! THE HULK IS BACK!

After admitting to the ozone therapy use, USADA discovered documentation from Cutelaba’s physician that the fighter’s ozone therapy involved a blood transfusion, a prohibited method under manipulation of blood and blood components in the 2018 WADA prohibited list.

Because Cutelaba admitted to the illegal method, USADA reduced his suspension to six months, starting his ineligibility on Nov. 3, the date he was provisionally suspended and removed from his bout at UFC 217. Without the admission, Cutelaba faced a two-year suspension.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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