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UFC’s Gian Villante won’t face anti-doping violation for using inhaler

Gian Villante prepares to spar with UFC

Gian Villante prepares to spar with UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman at Longo & Weidman MMA in Garden City on July 15, 2015. Credit: Mario Gonzalez

UFC light heavyweight Gian Villante will not face an anti-doping violation after receiving a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption for a prohibited substance, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced Friday.

Villante was granted the TUE for the temporary use of vilanterol, a prohibited substance under the UFC’s anti-doping program overseen by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. According to the agency, the Levittown-raised Villante declared his use of an inhaler containing the substance during an out-of-competition test conducted Jan. 18, subsequently testing positive for vilanterol.

After his disclosure, Villante was notified that use of the inhaler was prohibited without a TUE. According to USADA, Villante submitted an application and documentation showing his physician had prescribed a 14-day course of the inhaler to treat conditions associated with airflow restriction and asthma.

After an investigation, USADA found Villante had “an unequivocally diagnosed acute medical condition for which the use of vilanterol is consistent with the standard of care.” USADA also determined the 14-day period for which the drug was intended would only return Villante to normal health “without providing a performance-enhancing benefit” and that other alternatives were not successful for Villante.

Villante (15-7, 5-4 UFC) will not face any suspension and his next fight will continue as planned. He is scheduled to face former light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (24-10, 8-8) on March 11 in Fortaleza, Brazil.

New York Sports