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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Alex Pattle

UFC 284: Islam Makhachev accused of cheating with IV treatment ahead of Alexander Volkanovski fight

Getty Images

Islam Makhachev has been accused of using a banned IV (intravenous) treatment to rehydrate before his win over Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284.

Makhachev retained the UFC lightweight title on Saturday (11 February) with a narrow decision win over featherweight champion Volkanovski in Perth. However, the Russian has now been accused of cheating to recover from his weight-cut in the lead-up to the fight. Dan Hooker, a teammate of Volkanovski, tweeted on Monday (13 February), “Dumb c*** thinks he can fly to Australia, hire a nurse to give him an I.V and we won’t find out. Cheating dog,” before later clarifying that he was referring to Makhachev.

“Islam is a cheat,” the New Zealander wrote. “Prove me wrong. Bet [you] can’t. He doesn’t cheat, he doesn’t win.” Hooker also tweeted, “USADA doing f*** all,” referring to the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

In a statement to The Independent, the agency said: “USADA takes all reports of possible violations seriously and we actively follow up on all information we receive.

“Under the UFC Prohibited List, all IV infusions and/or injections of more than 100 [millilitres] per 12-hour period are prohibited at all times, except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital admissions, surgical procedures or clinical diagnostic investigations, and/or those received in-competition or out-of-competition that are determined to be medically-justified and within the standard of care by a licensed physician and administered by a licensed medical professional, without an approved Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).

“If a prohibited substance of any amount is administered intravenously by infusion or injection, a TUE is required for this prohibited substance regardless of the volume of the infusion or injection or the circumstances of administration.”

The Independent has also approached Makhachev’s management for comment.

Hooker, who was submitted by Makhachev in 2021, also posted a photo of an article from 2015 that suggested a two-year ban could be handed to athletes using IV treatments.

Dan Hooker, a teammate of Volkanovski, was beaten by Makhachev in 2021 (Getty Images)

By beating Volkanovski, Makhachev equalled the 34-year-old’s record of 12 straight wins by an active UFC fighter. The Russian was last beaten in 2015.

Makhachev, 31, won the lightweight belt in November to follow in the footsteps of his coach and childhood friend Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Makhachev’s defence against Volkanovski was the first of his title reign, and saw the challenger suffer a first defeat since 2013. Volkanovski had won 22 fights in a row since that sole loss, before he came up short against Makhachev.

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