Cris Cyborg officially cleared of potential doping violation

Cris “Cyborg” Justino is officially free and clear to resume her career in the UFC.

The top-ranked women’s fighter was granted a retroactive therapeutic use exemption by USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) and will not face any doping violation after she tested positive for a banned substance in Dec. 2016.

“Justino, 31, tested positive for Spironolactone, following an out-of-competition urine test conducted on December 5, 2016. Spironolactone is a prohibited substance in the category of Diuretics and Masking Agents and is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List,” USADA officials wrote in a statement released on Friday.

“Upon notice of her positive test, Justino immediately identified a medication prescribed by her physician for the treatment of a common endocrine disorder as the source of the prohibited substance detected in her sample. She also participated in multiple interviews with USADA’s investigative team and consented to USADA interviewing her physician as well.”

USADA conducted a full investigation into Cyborg’s use of the prohibited substance that was prescribed to her by a physician after her last UFC fight in Brazil this past September.

Ultimately, Cyborg’s use of the prohibited substance was found in accordance with her doctor’s instructions to treat a legitimate medical condition. Fighters may be granted an exception to use a banned substance in these cases if they file for a therapeutic use exemption and it’s approved by USADA.

In Cyborg’s case, she didn’t file for a use exemption prior to using the medication, but she was granted a retroactive therapeutic use exemption after USADA officials determined “the athlete had an unequivocally diagnosed chronic medical condition for which the use of Spironolactone is the appropriate standard of care.”

Because Cyborg’s retroactive exemption was granted, her provisional suspension has been lifted and she will not have a doping violation on her record. As part of the use exemption being granted, however, Cyborg must continue to document her medical care and renew her therapeutic use exemption ahead of the current one expiring in the future if she stays on the same course of treatment.

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With her provisional suspension lifted and no doping violation on her record, Cyborg is now cleared to resume her career as soon as she’s ready to book her next fight.

Cyborg told FOX Sports earlier this week that she would like to fight on the upcoming UFC 212 card in her native Brazil, where Jose Aldo meets Max Holloway in the main event.

At the top of the list for potential opponents for Cyborg would be new UFC women’s featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie, but she may be headed to surgery to repair ligament damage in her hand. If that’s the case, Cyborg sounds ready to take on the next fighter in line as she looks to take over the new 145-pound division in the UFC as soon as possible.

“I am ready to enter fight camp now. If [Germaine de Randamie] is injured and can’t fight I would like a chance to fight Megan Anderson,” Cyborg said. “She is an Interim champion for the belt I own and calling out fighters in the UFC. It only makes sense if [de Randamie] is not ready to fight that the UFC would offer her a contract and a chance to fight me on the biggest stage, inside the UFC Octagon.

“I think it would be a great addition to the June event in Rio if she’s ready to fight.”