USADA announced today that Abu Azaitar, of Rabat, Morocco, has accepted a seven-month sanction for a violation of the UFC® Anti-Doping Policy.
Azaitar, 34, tested positive for tamoxifen and/or tamoxifen metabolite 3-hydroxy-4-methoxy-tamoxifen as the result of urine samples collected on August 25, 2020, September 4, 2020, September 9, 2020 and September 17, 2020. Tamoxifen is a Specified Substance in the class of Hormone and Metabolic Modulators and is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and UFC Prohibited List.
After being notified of his positive test, Azaitar provided evidence (including medical records), that he was prescribed tamoxifen by a physician to treat symptoms. Tamoxifen is a selective estrogen receptor modulator used therapeutically to treat certain types of cancer in females and also prescribed off-label for males with various other conditions. Although the substance was taken at the direction of a physician, Azaitar lacked a valid Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) and his subsequent application for a retroactive TUE was denied due to lack of sufficient medical justification. Under the applicable rules, Azaitar was eligible for a reduction to the period of ineligibility based on the specific circumstances of his case and for his Full and Complete Cooperation.
Azaitar’s seven-month period of ineligibility began on August 25, 2020, the date his first positive sample was collected.
USADA conducts the year-round, independent anti-doping program for all UFC athletes. USADA is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental agency whose sole mission is to preserve the integrity of competition, inspire true sport, and protect the rights of clean athletes. In an effort to aid UFC athletes, as well as their support team members, in understanding the rules applicable to them, USADA provides comprehensive instruction on the UFC Anti-Doping Program website (https://UFC.USADA.org) regarding the testing process and prohibited substances, how to obtain permission to use a necessary medication, and the risks and dangers of taking supplements, as well as performance-enhancing and recreational drugs.
In addition, the agency manages a drug reference hotline, Drug Reference Online (https://UFC.GlobalDRO.com), conducts educational sessions, and proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as the Prohibited List, easy-reference wallet cards, and periodic athlete alerts. Many of the resources available to athletes are provided in multiple languages, including Russian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Korean, and Japanese.
Along with education and testing, robust anti-doping programs enable investigations stemming from tips and whistleblowers. USADA makes available a number of ways to report the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs in sport in an effort to protect clean athletes and promote clean competition. Any tip can be reported using the USADA Play Clean Tip Center, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 1 877-Play Clean (1-877-752-9253), or by mail.
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