The UFC has always had a bit of a rocky reputation when it comes to its athletes and performance-enhancing drugs.
With other sports, the overwhelming majority of athletes that have the hammer drop on them when it comes to anti-doping suspensions are low level athletes, minor stars, and “everyday players”. Either the superstars in those respective sports are protected or simply aren’t using, but it’s very rare for top-tier athletes to be slapped with PED suspensions any longer.
The UFC has an opposite problem.
Some of the best athletes in this mixed martial arts fighting promotion have been dealt significant blows to their career because of anti-doping violations. The latest, Khalid Murtazaliev, is just another in a long line of study athletes in this field to have their career waylaid for at least two years for popping positive for anabolic steroids.
Murtazaliev exploded onto the scene in the UFC when he decisively took down CB Dollaway (quite violently) in his UFC debut. He was hailed as the “next big thing” in the sport, the next Connor McGregor and an athlete that had all the potential in the world to take down other stars in the UFC and carve out a real legacy for himself.
Unfortunately for Murtazaliev, he isn’t going to have an opportunity to fight in the UFC again for at least two years after popping positive for anabolic steroids. Murtazaliev was tested according to USADA protocols, and it was the USADA that levied the two-year suspension on him resulting from contaminated samples provided during and out of competition window on both October 3, 2018 and December 6, 2018.
Interestingly enough, the USADA is announcing that these two separate positive drug test violations for Murtazaliev are going to be treated as a single violation. This is because the anabolic steroids that Murtazaliev tested positive for have a longer bio signature in the body, which means he could have been injected with a single dosage of these steroids before the October 3 test and continue to have that sample remaining in his body well past the second test on December 6.
Controversy has surrounded Murtazaliev’s entire UFC career, starting with that debut fight we mentioned above. The fighter was a last-minute replacement for the fight against Dollaway County fight that was held in Moscow. Because he was such a late addition to the card he was not tested prior to the fight or on fight night itself, which is obviously point different from the standard operating procedure.
The flight itself was one of the most violent in UFC recent history, which is really saying something considering just how violent UFC matches are as a general rule. This fighting particular one so one-sided, however, that the referee stopped the fight pretty late in the contest after he deemed Dollaway to have nothing left in the tank and was only going to serve as a punching bag for Murtazaliev to lump up on.
As of right now Murtazaliev has not appealed his suspension though is anticipated he will do exactly that.