Julie Mezabarba has been banned by ONE Championship after failing a drug test according to reports. The Brazilian appears to have been released by the promotion as a result.
According to the South China Morning Post the Brazilian was tested the day after her decision loss to Denice Zamboanga at ONE Fight Night 9 in April. She tested positive for ‘multiple banned substances’.
Mezabarba is currently serving an 18 month ban from ONE Championship events. But she hasn’t let that get in the way of her competitive career, fighting twice in the space of two weeks in her native Brazil and winning both bouts in the opening round.
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Mezabarba still describes herself as ‘ONE Championship fighter’ on her social media accounts so it isn’t clear exactly what her contractual status is. Wins over two opponents with a combined record of 0-10-1 are unlikely to impress anyone at the Singapore headquartered promotion, even if they hadn’t been earned during the course of a ban.
Prior to her successful return to Brazil she had been on a three fight losing streak. The Brazilian beat Mei Yamaguchi on her debut but then lost to Stamp Fairtex, Jenelyn Olsim and Zamboanga with all of these fights going the distance.
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) June 5, 2022
While the news that Mezabarba has failed a drug test will not exactly send shockwaves through the division another high profile fighter has also been caught out. Kairat Akhmetov was handed a flyweight title shot after his win over Reece Mclaren at ONE Fight Night 10.
But instead of facing Demetrious Johnson in a flyweight title fight he will be sitting on the sidelines for six months after failing an out of competition drug test. He was tested on May 15th, ten days after his decision win over the Australian.
Because it was an out of competition test the result of his fight with Mclaren will not be overturned. Whereas Akhmetov only tested positive for a single substance Mezabarba was found to have ingested ‘multiple’ banned substances which explains the discrepancy between the bans.
Since ONE Championship introduced drug testing last year fighters like Martin Batur and Jasur Mirzamukhamedov have failed tests. In both cases the promotion put out a statement to confirm what substance had been detected and what the punishment would be.
Interestingly there has been no official statement on Akhmetov or Mezabarba. The Kazakh is the highest profile fighter to fall foul of the new drug testing procedures, and it has potentially cost ONE Championship a flyweight title fight.