USADA Suspends Doctor Who Gave Prohibited IVs To Paulo Costa

Image of Paulo Costa: via @borrachinhamma instagram
Image of Paulo Costa: via @borrachinhamma instagram

Doctor Gets Two-Year Suspension From USADA

The Brazilian doctor who gave UFC middleweight contender Paulo Costa prohibited IVs has been suspended by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

Dr. Lucas Penchel accepted a two-year sanction after violating the the USADA-UFC policy when he gave Costa and his brother Carlos IV infusions that went over the permitted limit back in 2017.

Costa took the IVs along with stomach medication in June 2017 following the UFC 212 weigh-ins in Brazil to help him recover from the weight cut. He did the same following the UFC 217 weigh-ins in New York in November later that year.

While IVs are allowed and the ones administered by Penchel consisted of “permitted substances,” it went over the allowable limit of 50mL per six-hour period at the time.

As a result, the Costa brothers were suspended for six months in April 2019. They both provided “substantial assistance” to USADA to get the sentence reduced from two years.

“USADA announced today that Dr. Lucas Penchel, of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, has accepted a two-year sanction for a violation of the UFC® Anti-Doping Policy (UFC ADP) resulting from his complicity in the administration and use of over-limit intravenous (IV) infusions of permitted substances on June 2, 2017 and November 3, 2017 by Carlos Costa and Paulo Costa, respectively,” USADA’s statement read.

“In 2017, IV infusions and/or injections of more than 50 mL per 6-hour period were prohibited except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital admissions, surgical procedures, or clinical investigations under the UFC ADP. The UFC ADP has since been amended and now prohibits IV infusions and/or injections of more than 100 mL per 12-hour period with the added exception of those determined to be medically justified and within the standard of care by a licensed physician and administered by a licensed medical professional. Applying the current rules, the 2017 infusions remain in violation of the UFC ADP.”

Penchel’s suspension began March 17 and he will remain ineligible to work with UFC athletes until his two-year suspension passes.

Meanwhile, Costa looks set to challenge for the middleweight title next. “The Eraser” is slated to face fellow Israel Adesanya in a title bout expected to take place during International Fight Week.

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