27 July 2016 – USADA announced today that UFC athlete Islam Makhachev, of Dagestan, Russia, has tested positive for a prohibited substance, which was determined to have been ingested by him without fault or negligence.
Makhachev, 24, tested positive for meldonium as the result of an out-of-competition urine sample he provided on April 4, 2016. Meldonium is a non-specified substance that was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”) Prohibited List in 2016. It is in the category of Hormone and Metabolic Modulators and is now prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the WADA Prohibited List.
During USADA’s investigation of the case, it was discovered that Makhachev underwent a radiofrequency ablation procedure for frequent ventricular arrhythmia in December of 2014. In November of 2015, Makhachev’s physician recommended that Makhachev incorporate meldonium, a non-prescription medication, into his follow-up treatment plan and as a preventative measure against a potential relapse. Makhachev then used meldonium for four weeks, from late November to late December 2015. USADA confirmed that Makhachev discontinued use of the substance prior to January 1, 2016, because he was aware that the substance would be added to the WADA Prohibited List and banned under the UFC Anti-Doping Program.
After a thorough review of the case, USADA concluded that the extremely low meldonium concentration in the athlete’s urine sample, combined with the athlete’s explanation of use, was consistent with ingestion prior to the substance being officially prohibited on January 1, 2016. Based on the latest guidance offered by WADA on June 30, 2016, for cases involving meldonium, Makhachev will not face a period of ineligibility for his positive test.
USADA conducts the year-round, independent anti-doping program for all UFC athletes. USADA is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental agency whose sole mission is to preserve the integrity of competition, inspire true sport, and protect the rights of clean athletes. The anti-doping program run by USADA for UFC athletes includes education, science and research, testing, and results management. Official UFC Anti-Doping Program information and athlete resources are available at UFC.USADA.org.