Recent UFC flyweight title challenger Ali Bagautinov has tested positive for recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO) and has been suspended by the British Columbia Athletic Commission for a period of one year.

Bagautinov challenged champion Demetrious Johnson on June 14 at UFC 174 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Johnson won the fight via unanimous decision.

Eight fighters from the event were tested to World Anti-Doping Agency standards, including both title fight combatants. Bagautinov was also tested on June 2—12 days prior to the title contest—but results from the test were not yet available at the time of the fight. The pre-fight test revealed the presence of EPO, one of the substances recently found in the system of former title challenger Chael Sonnen.

EPO was made famous by disgraced Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong as it allows for the blood to carry more oxygen and increase stamina.

This is not the first time that Bagautinov has failed a test for performance-enhancing drugs. The 29-year-old was banned from the International Sambo Federation for detecting Methylhexaneamine in his system in 2012. It resulted in a two-year ban from Sambo competition.

UFC-parent company, Zuffa, LLC, released a statement regarding Bagautinov’s latest test failure:

“UFC 174 competitor Ali Bagautinov has been suspended by the British Columbia Athletic Commission for testing positive for erythropoietin (EPO). He was also informed that his positive test violated the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy and Promotional Agreement with Zuffa, LLC. The UFC has a strict, consistent policy against the use of any illegal and/or performance-enhancing drugs, stimulants or masking agents by our athletes. Bagautinov will serve a one-year suspension and must pass a drug test at the conclusion of his suspension before receiving clearance to compete in the UFC again.”

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