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Yoel Romero to serve shorter suspension after reaching USADA deal - reports

The UFC’s former number one middleweight contender was expected to serve a two-year suspension.

Yoel Romero after defeating Ronaldo Souza at UFC 194.
Yoel Romero after defeating Ronaldo Souza at UFC 194.
Image: John Locher/AP/Press Association Images

FORMER UFC MIDDLEWEIGHT number one contender Yoel Romero may not serve a two-year suspension following a positive test for a banned substance in December 2015.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) had originally called for the UFC to implement a two-year suspension after Romero tested positive for an unnamed banned substance following his win over Ronaldo Souza at UFC 194.

However, MMAFighting reports that USADA has decided to settle with Romero’s camp and recommend a lesser suspension after both sides wanted to avoid an arbitration hearing.

Romero and his team have maintained from the outset that the fighter was guilty of taking a contaminated dietary supplement rather than deliberately seeking an advantage with his manager Malki Kawa telling the MMA hour in February:

“The substance has a label with a bunch of stuff on it. one of that is illegal to take. What he got popped for is not on the label. So it’s obviously not his fault that he popped for this.”

USADA is expected to officially announce the shorter settlement soon with the 38-year-old Romero free to fight again before the autumn.

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