Branch gets two-year doping ban after being pulled from UFC Vancouver

Jared Cannonier, left, lands a punch on David Branch at UFC 230. (Julio Cortez/AP)

American middleweight David Branch, who dropped off the UFC’s recent Vancouver card, has been banned two years for doping.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said the 37-year-old fighter had tested positive for ipamorelin. USADA says ipamorelin stimulates the brain to release human growth hormone and is used by athletes as a performance-enhancing drug.

Branch, 37, tested positive in an out-of-competition urine sample provided May 24. His two-year ban began July 26, 2019, the date his provisional suspension was imposed.

Branch’s withdrawal from last Saturday’s Vancouver card was announced Aug. 1. At the time, a UFC spokeswoman said the fighter had dropped out "due to health issues."

Branch (22-6-0) has lost three of his last four UFC fights and is 4-5-0 in two stints in the promotion.

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