Cris “Cyborg” Justino was granted a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) on Feb. 17, clearing her of an anti-doping policy violation after testing positive for a prohibited substance in December of 2016.
Cyborg, 31, tested positive for Spironolactone, following an out-of-competition urine test conducted on Dec. 5, 2016. Spironolactone is a prohibited substance in the category of Diuretics and Masking Agents and is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.
After the positive test, Justino filed for a retroactive TUE. Following a two-month investigation, it was determined that the positive test was a result of a medication prescribed by her physician for the treatment of a common endocrine disorder. While she was cleared of performance enhancing use by USADA, the court of public opinion had already convicted her.
“People judge before. The problem is, some of the media, they don’t know what’s going on. A guy like Joe Rogan has six million followers and he starts saying that I’m a cheater, I’m going to be banished for life, and people believe that. People don’t wait to see the results of the investigation by USADA. They don’t wait. They judge,” she said during an appearance on The MMA Hour.
Cyborg has tested positive to a banned substance in the past. Her 2011 win over Hiroko Yamanaka was overturned after she tested positive to the anabolic steroid Stanozolol. She was suspended for a year and fined $2,500 for the violation.
“I was really stressed about everything because I did a mistake one time in my life. I learned a lot of things from this mistake. The one thing that I learned the first time is just some people stay with you. The hard time, just a couple of people stay with you. This time, same thing,” she said.
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But it wasn’t just people that abandoned Cyborg. Scheduled appearances were canceled. Sponsors withdrew support.
“It cost a lot for me, too. I lost a lot of public appearances. I lost sponsors,” she explained. “It was a really tough time, but I knew that I did nothing wrong. I didn’t cheat.”
Cyborg had a message for those that doubted her and cast a guilty verdict before knowing all the facts.
“For the people that judged me, when you judge somebody and point your finger at someone, you have three fingers pointing back at you. I think before you judge someone you need to think about you first because it’s easy to judge someone,” she said.
With the situation resolved, Justino is happy with the outcome. “I’m really happy. Everything is cleared up,” she said. “Everything is okay now.”
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