Islam Makhachev Cleared of Any Wrongdoing in 2016 Doping Violation: ‘One of the Colossal Mistakes in Anti-Doping’

Makhachev was awarded his "ugly jacket" for 50 clean drug tests ahead of his UFC 302 title fight with Dustin Poirier.

Islam Makhachev And Jeff Novitzky
Courtesy of @MMAJunkie on X

Reigning UFC lightweight world champion Islam Makhachev was cleared of any wrongdoing eight years after being flagged for the banned substance meldonium. 

Ahead of his highly anticipated title defense against Dustin Poirier at UFC 302 on Saturday night, the ‘Dagestani Destroyer’ was inducted into the “Ugly Jacket Club” after completing 50 drug tests without issue. Making the announcement was Jeff Novitzky, the UFC Senior Vice President of Anti-Doping Compliance who used the moment as an opportunity to clear Makhachev’s name following a 2016 incident that continues to sit as a stain on his otherwise squeaky-clean reputation.

Makhachev was flagged and subsequently suspended for three months after the United States Anti-Doping Agency found traces of meldonium in an out-of-competition sample. Novitzky was quick to throw USADA under the bus in his statement, calling it a “colossal” mistake that affected hundreds of athletes in and out of the UFC.

“In 2016, USADA, who ran our program, put it on our prohibited list,” Novitzky said of meldonium. “Before that, you were allowed to use it. He had a medical procedure back in 2014. He submitted documents that he used it under that. Ultimately, he was cleared by USADA. But in my opinion, one of the greatest, colossal mistakes in anti-doping. It affected not only Islam but several other UFC athletes and hundreds of other amateur Olympic athletes.

“That’s something that just cannot happen. That’s something you can carry forward with you and your reputation forever. I’m here today today to say that Islam absolutely did nothing wrong. This mistake was on the anti-doping authority, not him. It’s very important to note that.”

Meldonium is a fatty acid oxidation inhibitor primarily used to treat heart conditions such as angina, heart failure, and heart attacks. In 2016, it landed on WADA’s (World Anti-Doping Agency) list of banned substances, noting that it could be used as a metabolic modulator, changing how some hormones accelerate or slow down enzymatic reactions in the body. 

Islam Makhachev Looks to Keep His Streak Alive Against ‘The Diamond’

After earning back-to-back victories over former featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski, Islam Makhachev will put his 155-pound crown on the line against a legit lightweight contender for the first time when he meets Dustin Poirier inside the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. 

Staring down the barrel of what will likely be his final shot at capturing UFC gold, ‘The Diamond’ is determined to “finish his story” and hand the Dagestani his first loss in nearly a decade. 

Of course, that’ll be much easier said than done. Outside of a knockout loss to Adriano Martins in his sophomore appearance with the promotion, Makhachev has been perfect, dispatching his last 13 opponents, including victories over Arman Tsarukyan, Drew Dober, Thiago Moises, Dan Hooker, Bobby Green, Charles Oliveira, and the aforementioned Volkanovski. 

Check out the official promo for Makhachev vs. Poirier below:

Published on May 30, 2024 at 11:12 am
Stay up-to-date with the latest MMA news, rumors, and updates by following the RED Monster on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. Also, don't forget to add MiddleEasy to your Google News feed Follow us on Google News for even more coverage.


Leave a Comment