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Jeff Novitzky says UFC advised Dan Ige to call police after drug test blunder

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UFC vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky is reminding athletes to ask USADA doping control officers for their credentials before submitting a drug-test sample.

Esther Lin / MMA Fighting

Jeff Novitzky says the UFC advised Dan Ige to contact law enforcement after he had a blood sample taken by someone unaffiliated with USADA.

Ige documented a bizarre start to his morning in a series of tweets Thursday. Around 6:30 a.m. local time, Ige, a UFC featherweight who lives in Las Vegas, thought he was getting tested by a doping control officer who works for USADA, the UFC’s anti-doping partner. The officer, according to Ige, took a blood sample from him, and it seemed like regular procedure as part of the UFC’s anti-doping program. But it turned out she was at the wrong address and seemingly supposed to be testing someone else.

Novitzky, the UFC vice president of athlete health and performance, wrote on Twitter Thursday afternoon that the UFC has talked to Ige since the incident and suggested he reach out to police.

“While it looks like this sample collection was intended for a neighbor and completely unrelated to USADA or the UFC, we advised Dan to contact law enforcement and we will support Dan to track down the details of this mistake,” Novitzky wrote.

Ige told MMA Fighting he didn’t ask the woman for identification upon her arrival because he is so used to getting tested. UFC fighters have been subject to random drug testing by USADA since 2015. Ige has been tested three times thus far in 2019 — one time already this month — per USADA’s online database.

Ige said he began to get suspicious when the officer didn’t fill out any paperwork, but instead said it was all digital. Ige began to get frustrated and told her she could leave, he said, but forgot to get back the vials of blood.

Novitzky used Ige’s situation as a reminder to UFC fighters to ask officers to see their credentials before submitting a sample.

“(It’s) understandable that this process can become routine and at 630am you can be in a daze,” Novitzky wrote to Ige. “But a good reminder to UFC athletes that USADA DCO’s carry credentials that they should show you and you should verify before submitting to any sample collection.”