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Romero to Battle USDA

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Yoel Romero
Photo via the UFC's Facebook

UFC middleweight  Yoel Romero, 38, failed a Performance Enhancing Drug test in December, and was suspended by USADA, the UFC’s third party testing service. However, USADA has a process to contest suspensions through an independent arbitrator, and Romero plans to avail himself of that. His team argues that he took the PEDs inadvertently, via a contaminated dietary supplement.

The fighter and former Olympic silver medalist in wrestling had been on track for a title shot, following a seven-fight win streak in the UFC, most recently an uninspired split decision over Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza.

Marc Raimondi has the story.

Sources said that Romero’s team and USADA discussed a deal for a nine-month suspension for the fighter, but Romero preferred to go to arbitration. The typical USADA anti-doping violation suspension is two years, sources said. The arbitrator can issue a penalty anywhere from a public warning to the two-year suspension.

The filing fee for a USADA arbitration case is $2,700, though Romero may request a waiver or reduction of the filing fee for “good cause on the basis of financial hardship,” per the UFC’s policy with USADA. Romero is responsible for paying his own travel. The UFC will pay for the cost of an arbitrator or arbitrators, the policy states. The arbitrator or arbitrators will come from McLaren Global Sport Solutions.

It’s unclear at this time when the arbitration hearing will take place.

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Aaron Portier
Highly passionate MMA Journalist, and I've followed the sport ever since my favorite fighter, Vitor Belfort won the heavyweight tournament at UFC 12. After that I've tried to go to every local MMA event around the Gulf Coast and surrounding areas and decided to make it a point to have a career in some aspect in the fighting sport other than fighting in general (didn't want to ruin my face). I'm currently enrolled at Southeastern Louisiana University working towards a degree in Communication. I cover MMA, Boxing and Football for The Daily Star newspaper in my hometown of Hammond, Louisiana, in addition to working as a promotional writer for a local Boxing promotion known as BoxnCar and I cover boxing for 8countnews.com however SciFighting.com is my home. My main goal is to bring more publicity to MMA in my area and to the sport as a whole as all of us involved with the sport are merely scratching the surface and laying the foundation of what mixed martial arts competition will be further down the road.