UFC 217 looked to be going all to plan, but earlier this evening the disappointing news came out that Ion Cutelaba had been removed from his scheduled bout with Michal Oleksiejczuk.
The UFC released a statement saying that Cutelaba had been pulled following a notification received from USADA citing a potential violation after an issue with his pre-fight form.
The statement read as follows:
“UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Ion Cutelaba of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from its investigation into voluntary disclosures by Cutelaba during an out-of-competition sample collections on October 18 and October 19, 2017. USADA has provisionally suspended Cutelaba and his fight against Michal Oleksiejczuk has been cancelled from the November 4, 2017, UFC 217 fight card.
“USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Cutelaba. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.”
MMAUNO.com caught up with Cutelaba later this evening at his hotel and he explained the situation and what led to him being removed from the fight card this evening.
“Unfortunately, this has been a very unfortunate situation and I just want to explain in front of everybody what has happened,” Cutelaba said.
“I know I actually have nothing to apologize for because I have not done anything that is illegal, but still I want to say to my opponent and to my fans that I am sorry that the fight has been cancelled and I want to state clearly that this is not a situation where USADA has found anything illegal on any sample or tested anything positive.
“I’ve done a legal medical procedure to reduce an inflammation and that procedure is called ozone therapy.
“This procedure I don’t think is very well known by USADA, so USADA just wanted information about this procedure from the doctor that has performed it, but unfortunately because we only had a few days to provide all this evidence, we didn’t have enough time to get everything together that USADA wanted.
“If only we had a few more days, I’m convinced everything would’ve been absolutely fine. I personally appreciate and I’m absolutely with USADA in their efforts to try and prove that all athletes are honest because I myself am an honest athlete, so obviously I want USADA to keep track and prove that all of us are honest athletes.
“I’m with USADA 100-percent on this investigation because I know that there is nothing they’re going to find that I have done anything illegal. If only we had a few more days, we would’ve had all the documents to prove that I am an honest athlete.
“I’m eagerly awaiting the end all of this because I know that 100-percent everything will be fine.
“I want to thank you all for your understanding and hope you all have a good weekend.”