The UFC have released an official statement acknowledging that middleweight contender Yoel Romero has been flagged by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for a “potential” policy violation.
The Cuban Olympic wrestling silver medallist last saw action at UFC 194 on December 12th, when he picked up a split decision win over Brazilian Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. That victory was thought to have secured the thickly built “Soldier of God” a shot at the promotions 185lb strap, which changed hands the same night when Luke Rockhold stopped Chris Weidman, but that opportunity is obviously now in jeopardy.
Contacted by MMAFighting for a statement, Romero’s manager would only say that the team were currently “gathering information”.
Interestingly, the manager of his most recent opponent, Souza, still seemed more aggrieved by the result of the fight than the result of the drug test when he was asked for a comment on the news. Speaking to Ariel Helwani, Gilberto Faria stated, “with doping or not, Jacare won that fight”. He added that the just outcome would be for his man to receive the title shot that was due to go to Romero. “Nothing will be more fair than Jacare versus Luke Rockhold next”.
Here is the statement released by Romero’s employers.
“The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) informed Yoel Romero of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection”.
“USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Romero. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward”.