UFC Flyweight suspended until 2044

Italian fighter handed second 15 year ban by Italian National Anti Doping Agency

12-5 UFC flyweight Mara Borella has found herself suspended for no less than 26 years until 2044 by the National Anti Doping Agency of Italy.

In 2012 Borella found herself the center of a police investigation centered around the town of Piacenza. Following a two year investigation codenamed “Operazione Flanker“, Borella and her then-boyfriend, Rugby player Filippo Maserati, was arrested with 33 others and charged with distribution and sale of cannabis and cocaine at a wide range of locations throughout the area.

Image: ilsecoloxix.it

Investigators found that they were distributing drugs at nightclubs and bars, as well as sporting venues, at rugby and soccer matches, and Borella was said to be selling drugs at the gym where she trained.

In July of 2012, it was reported it the Italian media that all but two of the defendants had entered into plea deals with punishments of between 1 and 4 years in prison, but no details were seemingly released.

But that was not the end of the story for Borella. Because of her position as an athlete, she fell under the auspices of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) and in 2014 they would suspend both her and Maserati, for 15 years, until 2029, under article 2.7 of the WADA code, specifically the trafficking of prohibited substances.

It didn’t end there for Mara, however. Now, in 2018 she has been charged by the Italian Anti Doping Agency with two further violations.

Firstly, contravention of article 4.12.3 of the Italian Anti Doping Code (NSA) which prohibits competing while suspended.

She was also charged with violating article 8 of the same code which prohibits the use of Italian sporting facilities while serving a suspension.

As a result, Italian Anti Doping Agency has suspended Borella for a further 15 years, commencing at the expiry of her original suspension and so running from June 2029 and running until the year 2044.

It’s unclear at this point how this will affect her UFC career. The UFC are not signatories to the WADA code and therefore not obliged to observe other bodies suspensions. USADA, however, may have other ideas.

Credit to MMA Today Italy’s Al Zullino for first spotting this story.

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