Islam Makhachev reacts after getting "50 Clean Tests jacket": "Honored to be a good example"

Islam Makhachev (left) receives his UFC jacket for 50 clean drug testing samples [Photo Courtesy @islam_makhachev on Instagram]
Islam Makhachev (left) receives his UFC jacket for 50 clean drug testing samples [Image Courtesy: @islam_makhachev on Instagram]

As a part of UFC 302 Fight Week, the promotion has recognized its lightweight champion with his letterman jacket for 50 clean drug tests. To showcase his appreciation, Islam Makhachev posted a picture in his new jacket with UFC executive Jeff Novitsky on May 30.

Makhachev is set to defend his title against Dustin Poirier in the UFC 302 main event and has held the belt since submitting Charles Oliveira at UFC 280. In his social media post, the Dagestani thanked Novitsky for presenting him with the jacket and speaking on a 2016 incident that he called a "wrongful" accusation.

Makhachev wrote:

"Got my 50 Clean Tests jacket. Honored to be a good example and representative of clean sport. Also special thanks to Jeff Novitsky for his speech and clarification of 2016 incident, where I was wrongfully accused of using PEDs without proper investigation."

The incident that the champion touched on occurred early in his UFC career as he was preparing to make his third appearance in the octagon. Since illegitimately testing positive for PEDs, Makhachev has not lost a fight.

Entering his 27th professional fight, Makhachev will look to improve on his 13-fight win streak on June 1 against Poirier.

Islam Makhachev's positive drug test in 2016

As a part of his Instagram post, Islam Makhachev referenced his positive drug test in 2016 which he has since been cleared of. The incident occurred under the guidance of USADA, which then served as the UFC's anti-doping agency.

In the incident, Makhachev was pulled from his fight with Drew Dober at UFC on FOX 19 with USADA reporting he had tested positive for the banned substance Meldonium. He would initially be suspended, though the punishment was later revoked after further review from the company.

It was discovered that Makhachev took the drug on the referral of a doctor before Meldonium was added to the banned substance list and he was subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing. Novitsky addressed the situation upon awarding Makhachev with the jacket and confirmed that the positive test result was invalid.

Novitsky currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance with the UFC, a position he has held since 2019.

In late 2023, the UFC severed their partnership with USADA. The promotion has since moved forward with Drug-Free Sport International as their drug testing agency.

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