Matheus Nicolau flagged by USADA for potential violation, denies PED use

Another one bites the dust.

Matheus Nicolau was recently flagged by USADA for a potential violation of its anti-doping policy, the UFC announced in a statement Thursday. The potential violation stems from an out-of-competition drug test administered by USADA, the UFC’s anti-doping partner, on Oct. 13.

In light of the positive drug test, Nicolau has been provisionally suspended by USADA and pulled from a UFC Fight Night 100 bout against Yuta Sasaki. The event is scheduled for Sao Paulo, Brazil on Nov. 19.

“USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case,” the statement read. “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.”

According to a Friday report on MMAFighting.com, the UFC was unable to find a suitable replacement to fight Sasaki and the Japanese fighter has subsequently been pulled from the card.

Nicolau released a statement Friday morning, denying the use of banned substances.

Assim como vocês, fui surpreendido na noite de ontem com a notificação da USADA sobre uma potencial violação minha ao programa antidoping. Eu nunca tomei a substância alegada no exame e, até ontem, sequer sabia de sua existência. Cooperei com a comissão antidrogas com o maior prazer, desde a minha entrada no UFC até hoje, realizando, no último controle, inclusive, exames de urina e sangue. Em momento algum, fui negligente ou imprudente neste caso ou em minha trajetória. Agora, meu objetivo imediato é tomar todas as medidas necessárias para descobrir o que aconteceu e comprovar a minha retidão. Novamente, reitero o meu espanto com o resultado do exame, pois nunca, em oito anos de carreira, fiz uso de substâncias ilícitas para aumento de desempenho. Sempre disse que treino, luto, vivo e me alimento como um campeão. E sei que um campeão joga limpo e vence dentro das regras. Por isso, jamais colocaria meus colegas de profissão, minha equipe e reputação em risco. Certo de que a verdade prevalecerá num futuro próximo, Matheus Nicolau. I was surprised last night with the USADA notification about a potential violation of anti-doping program. I didn’t took the alleged substance and, until yesterday, even knew of its existence. I cooperated with the anti-drug commission with pleasure, since entering the UFC, performing at the last control urine and blood tests. I wasn’t negligent in this case or in my career. Now, my immediate goal is to take all necessary measures to find out what happened and prove my righteousness. Again, I reiterate my surprise with the test results. In eight years of career, I didn’t use illicit substances to increase performance. Like I always said, I train, fight, live and eat like a champ. And I know a champion play fair and win within the rules. So I wouldn’t put my colleagues, my team and reputation at risk. I’m sure that the truth will prevail in the near future, Matheus Nicolau. DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR

A photo posted by Matheus Nicolau (@matheusnicolaumma) on Nov 4, 2016 at 4:28am PDT

“I was surprised last night with the USADA notification about a potential violation of anti-doping program,” the statement read. “I didn’t took the alleged substance and, until yesterday, even knew of its existence. I cooperated with the anti-drug commission with pleasure, since entering the UFC, performing at the last control urine and blood tests. I wasn’t negligent in this case or in my career.

“Now, my immediate goal is to take all necessary measures to find out what happened and prove my righteousness. Again, I reiterate my surprise with the test results. In eight years of career, I didn’t use illicit substances to increase performance. Like I always said, I train, fight, live and eat like a champ. And I know a champion play fair and win within the rules. So I wouldn’t put my colleagues, my team and reputation at risk.I’m sure that the truth will prevail in the near future.”

Nicolau (12-1-1) is 2-0 inside the Octagon. A competitor on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4, Nicolau recently picked up his biggest win to date, a split decision over longtime flyweight contender John Moraga.