Murtazaliev, a Russia native, tested positive for drostanolone, an anabolic steroid, stemming from out-of-competition samples collected Oct. 3, 2018 and Dec. 6, 2018, per the release. USADA has suspended Murtazaliev for two years.
According to USADA, the two positive drug tests will be treated as one UFC anti-doping policy violation “because the amount of drostanolone and its metabolite detected in both samples is consistent with administration via injection prior to the sample collected” on Oct. 3. Murtazaliev’s two-year ban is retroactive to that date, so he won’t be able to fight again until October 2020.
The release does not state that Murtazaliev’s win over Dollaway will be overturned to a no contest. Murtazaliev defeated Dollaway after a vicious beating via TKO after the second round on Sept. 15 at UFC Moscow. The sample collected in October was not an in-competition sample, but, as the release, stated there is evidence that administration occurred prior to Oct. 3. The UFC acted as its own regulator for the Moscow card, as it does in many instances overseas.
Murtazaliev, a late-notice replacement at UFC Moscow, was not drug tested prior to the bout, nor on fight night. There were only two tests listed on USADA’s online database for Murtazaliev in 2018, the two samples that ended up testing positive in October and December. Per the UFC’s anti-doping policy, a short-notice replacement fighter don’t necessarily have to spend any time in the USADA drug-testing pool before competing, if he or she is not a returning fighter into the UFC.
The fight was also notable for what was criticized as a late stoppage by referee Herb Dean. Dollaway himself was unhappy about the way it ended, feeling he took unnecessary punishment.
“I’ve been on the other side before, where I thought a fight got stopped too early for me,” Dollaway told MMA Fighting afterward. “But, being on the other side now, it’s like — it’s a rough job being a ref, they want to give you the benefit of the doubt, but at the same time, you’re there to protect us, and I don’t know what was going on, but I don’t feel like I got protected. He didn’t stop the fight. Ever. Like, he was telling me to get on the stool and I didn’t even want to fight. Like, ‘Dude, I’m done.’ I was pretty out of it. I’m going to go out and take more punishment, that’s all that was going to basically happen at that point. I understand being a referee’s a tough job, we all make mistakes in life. It just sucks when it’s you.”
Murtazaliev (13-2) is on a three-fight winning streak, including that victory over Dollaway. The 25-year-old is a veteran of Fight Nights Global and M-1.
Dollaway did not immediately return comment on Murtazaliev’s positive drug test.