Both fighters appeared before the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Thursday to pave the way for obtaining licenses that would eventually allow them to compete in the state. At the end of the hearing, they were both granted temporary licenses that mirrored the conditions placed on now-former UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones and Grant Dawson, who both were found with “pulsing” M3 metabolites in their systems.
For Benoit, the process already cost him more than one year of his career after he originally tested positive for low levels of DHCMT (oral turinabol) starting on Nov. 11, 2018. At the time, Benoit tested positive for 30 picograms per mL at the time.
According to Jeff Novitzky, the UFC’s senior vice president of athlete health and performance who oversees the promotion’s anti-doping program, Benoit was placed under a provisional suspension by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. It wasn’t until November 2019 when the UFC updated their anti-doping program to account for low levels of this M3 metabolite found in DHCMT.
At that point, athletes who tested positive for the M3 metabolite at less than one nanogram per mL (100 picograms per mL) would be flagged for an atypical finding, but no longer subject to penalty under the UFC’s anti-doping policy. Unfortunately, Benoit had already sat out for one year under a provisional suspension, but once the program was updated, he was allowed to compete again.
Testing has continued to show extremely low levels of that same M3 metabolite in Benoit’s system, but USADA doctors have previously testified in similar cases that there would be no performance enhancing benefits whatsoever.
Using the Jones and Grant cases as a blueprint, the Nevada commission ultimately ruled to allow Benoit to receive a temporary license after six months of additional testing with at least two tests administered per month to continue monitoring his results.
Because Benoit has already undergone that type of testing for several months, the commission set Dec. 1 as the date he will be allowed to receive a license in the state so long as he continues to test under the 100 picogram threshold for an adverse finding.
As for Dolidze, he faced a one-year suspension after he tested positive for DHCMT and clomiphene in a sample collected on March 12, 2019. At the time, Dolidze came forward with detailed evidence of his use of prohibited substances prior to entering the UFC’s anti-doping program.
Novitzky added on Thursday’s call that Dolidze, much like Benoit, has continued to show trace amounts of that M3 metabolite in his drug test results. Most recently a test conducted on July 18 showed trace amounts at just 5 picograms per mL in his system.
The same verdict was handed down to Dolidze, which required him to undergo additional testing — at least two times per month for a total of six months, retroactive to earlier this year. That means he will also be allowed to receive a license in Nevada starting on Dec. 1.