UFC bantamweight Melissa Gatto received a one-year suspension from USADA after she failed a drug test prior to her Octagon debut.
Gatto was originally expected to make her first appearance at UFC 239 in July, but she was pulled from the card. She later revealed she had been flagged for a potential violation of the UFC’s anti-doping policy.
On Thursday, USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) officially announced Gatto’s suspension following her positive drug test.
“Gatto Regonha, 23, tested positive for furosemide as the result of an out-of-competition urine sample she provided on June 5, 2019,” USADA officials wrote in a statement. “Furosemide is a Specified Substance in the class of Diuretics and Masking Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
“Gatto Regonha’s one-year period of ineligibility began on June 5, 2019, the date her positive sample was collected. Regonha’s positive test also falls under the jurisdiction of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which has imposed a sanction in accordance with its rules.”
Diuretics are used to help expel water and salt from the body, which has led to the common use of the drug in athletes cutting weight for sports such as MMA.
Gatto had previously revealed that she expected a one-year suspension after she tested positive for the diuretic in an interview with MMA Fighting. She added she wanted to have her supplements tested, but couldn’t afford the $500 cost required.
All fighters in the UFC are afforded an adjudication process by USADA, but they are required to pay for any costs associated with a potential appeal.
Ultimately, Gatto accepted the one-year suspension from USADA, and she will be eligible to compete again after June 5, 2020.