Fans have been wondering when featherweight contender Yair Rodriguez would be fighting again. As it turns out, this will not be taking place until next year.
It has been over a year since Rodriguez was last in the UFC Octagon. He was expected to take on Zabit Magomedsharipov in a highly anticipated fight, but mysteriously pulled out of the fight. The questions about what happened were levied against Dana White at a recent post-fight press conference. His response was cryptic, essentially saying that Yair was not injured and did not test positive for PEDs, but that he could not disclose what had happened.
— Jed I. Goodman (@jedigoodman) November 29, 2020
Yair Rodriguez Gets 6 Month Sanction
Now we seem to have a better understanding about what is going on with Yair Rodriguez. According to a statement, USADA has suspended him for six months for failing to update his Whereabouts form. This is an aspect of the UFC’s drug testing protocol that requires athletes to document the places they will be throughout any given day, in order for them to be located in the event of a random drug test. Apparently he has not only failed to update this for a year, but he was also unable to be located for his last three attempts at testing.
“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,” USADA officials wrote in a statement. (h/t MMAFighting)“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.”
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The suspension is backdated to September 8th, the date of his third violation, meaning that he will be eligible to compete on March 8th, 2021. Although USADA also said that he is eligible for a reduction in this sanction, because they did not believe he was failing to update his Whereabouts in a way to hide doping.