Ricardo Abreu flagged for second potential doping violation while on 2-year suspension

UFC middleweight Ricardo Abreu may have a very long wait until he is eligible to fight again.

The former "Ultimate Fighter Brazil" competitor has been flagged for a potential doping violation by USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) for a sample collected from Abreu on Dec. 21, 2016.

The failed drug test comes while Abreu is already under suspension for a previous doping violation from a sample collected on June 3, 2016.

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"Abreu is currently serving a two-year suspension under the UFC Anti-Doping Program, after the anabolic steroid metabolites 19-norandrosterone (19-NA) and 19-noretiocholanolone were detected in a sample collected from Abreu on June 3, 2016. Under his current suspension, Abreu is not eligible to return to competition until July 1, 2018," UFC officials wrote in a statement released on Wednesday.

USADA is not allowed to reveal the substance found in the latest sample that was flagged for Abreu until he releases that information or his adjudication process has been completed.

Abreu may be facing a rather lengthy sanction if found guilty because the penalty for a second-time offender of the UFC's anti-doping policy could lead to a suspension double the amount of time for the first offense.

In other words, Abreu could be staring down a four-year suspension depending on the circumstances surrounding his second failed drug test.

Before any of that happens, Abreu is afforded an adjudication process with USADA just like all athletes competing under the UFC's anti-doping program.