UFC: Muslim Salikhov Off the Hook In Doping Case Mirroring That of Jon Jones

UFC 234
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Despite testing positive for a long term metabolite of turinabol, Muslim Salikhov will face no punishment from USADA under the UFC’s anti-doping program.

A UFC fighter has been let off the hook after testing positive for a long-term metabolite of the steroid turinabol, and it isn’t Jon Jones. On Monday, it was reported that Muslim Salikhov, who was put on a provisional suspension after testing positive for the substance last summer, had been cleared despite his positive drug test. MMA Fighting broke the news.

Salikhov’s case mirrors that of UFC light heavyweight Jon Jones, who has been under scrutiny after failing a drug test connected to UFC 214. He received a 15 month suspension after turinabol metabolites turned up in his system. Yet long after, the long-term metabolite 4-chloro-18-nor-17β-hydroxymethyl,17α-methyl-5α-androst-13-en-3α-ol (M3) came and went in tests. This “pulsing” led the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and others to believe that there was no new usage of the drug, especially since the parent compound did not turn up.

In six subsequent tests since his original failure on June 7, Salikhov has failed twice. The parent compound of the steroid has never been detected. As such, USADA was unable to determine when the substance was taken, and as it could have come prior to Salikhov joining the UFC, no punishment has been handed out.

Quoted by MMA Fighting, Jeff Novitzky, UFC Vice President of Athlete Health and Safety, said that “USADA determined based on looking at all those data points, based on learning about this M3 metabolite probably within the last year, they’re unable to meet the burden of showing that however that got in his system — and I don’t think there’s any question that at some point it got in his system — but they’re unable to show that whenever it got in his system was during USADA jurisdiction.”

Salikhov (14-2) is 1-1 under the UFC banner, picking up his first win last April when he knocked out Ricky Rainey.

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