George Sullivan already is under suspension from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). Now he may be facing further sanctions.
Sullivan, a UFC welterweight, is currently serving a one-year suspension that was set to expire at the end of the month, retroactive to Jan. 31, 2016.
After voluntarily disclosing information to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, Sullivan was pulled from his July 23 bout with Hector Urbina at UFC on FOX 20. Sullivan (17-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC), 35, was provisionally suspended on Aug. 24 for “declaration of a prohibited substance.”
Later, he was handed an official one-year term despite not actually failing a drug test.
But today, the UFC announced Sullivan and the promotion have been notified of a potential anti-doping violation stemming from an out-of-competition test earlier this month. Because of that, Sullivan has been given a provisional suspension based on the new potential violation.
Sullivan (17-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC) was set to fight Randy Brown (9-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) next month at UFC 208 in Brooklyn, N.Y. The event takes place Feb. 11 at Barclays Center, which is past the end date of Sullivan’s current one-year ban. But with the new provisional suspension, Sullivan has been pulled from the card. UFC officials said in a statement they are seeking a new opponent for Brown on the event, which has a main card on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.
The full statement from the UFC reads:
“The UFC organization was formally notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed George Sullivan of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection taken on January 14, 2017.
“Sullivan is currently serving a one year suspension under the UFC Anti-Doping Program, for his use of a product containing the prohibited substance Insulin Growth Factor -1 (IGF-1). Sullivan was due to end his current suspension on January 31, 2017, and compete on the UFC 208 card in Brooklyn, New York, against Randy Brown. However, USADA has provisionally suspended Sullivan based on the new potential anti-doping violation, and the UFC has removed Sullivan from the UFC 208 card. The UFC is currently seeking a replacement to face Randy Brown.
“USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case. It is important to note that, under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full fair legal review process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed.
“Consistent with all previous potential anti-doping violations, additional information or UFC statements will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.”
Sullivan, from New Jersey, most recently fought at UFC on FOX 18 in Newark in his home state on Jan. 30, 2016. There, he suffered a first-round knockout loss to Alexander Yakovlev. Because that was his most recent bout, his current suspension was retroactive to that day since he did not compete at UFC on FOX 20, the event for which he disclosed the prohibited substance that got him his current ban.
With Sullivan’s removal, the latest UFC 208 lineup includes: