It’s gonna be a while before fans see the ‘Doberman’ back in the Octagon again. The longtime Power MMA fighter and 11-year UFC veteran hasn’t fought since a TKO Loss to Khalid Murtazaliev back in September of 2018. Murtazaliev entered the contest as a late replacement for Artem Frolov (himself replacing Omari Akhmedov) who had been forced out of his planned bout with Dollaway due to injury.
In the months after the fight, Murtazaliev submitted two samples to USADA that tested positive for the steroid drostanolone, and was suspended for two years from MMA competition. On Monday, August 26th, USADA announced that Dollaway had also accepted a two year suspension. This comes following his own out-of-competition drug test failures— from a sample containing several banned substances submitted on December 19th of 2018, and a second second sample collected on February 9th, 2019.
“Dollaway, 35, tested positive for anastrozole, growth hormone releasing peptide 2 (GHRP-2 or pralmorelin), a metabolite of GHRP-2, and GHRP-6 as the result of an out-of-competition urine sample he provided on December 19th, 2018,” a statement from the drug testing agency read. “Anastrozole is a Specified Substance in the class of Hormone and Metabolic Modulators, while GHRP-2 and GHRP-6 are Specified Substances in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances and Mimetics. All of these substances are prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.”
The agency’s statement goes on to mention that “Dollaway also tested positive for clomiphene” in his February sample. And that he received an “over-the-limit” IV infusion on December 13th. However, USADA also states that they will be treating the positive tests and the IV as a single, first violation. That decision is reportedly due to the athlete only having been notified of his initial drug test failure on January 11th, 2019—and his clomiphene test results being consistent with ingestion prior to that date.
Clomiphene is the same substance that both Brock Lesnar and Jon Jones tested positive for in 2016. While the drug was initially developed as a fertility treatment for women, it is often used in conjunction with a steroid cycle to boost natural testosterone production and reduce the side effects of synthetic hormones. It’s also a somewhat common ingredient in sexual enhancement medication.
The loss to Murtazaliev broke a two-fight win streak for Dollaway, which itself was a rebound from three straight losses to Lyoto Machida, Michael Bisping and Nate Marquardt. Between those series of wins and losses, Dollaway badly injured his back in a freak elevator accident—just ahead of a planned fight against Francimar Barroso at UFC 203. He was sidelined for almost a year following the incident.
Following USADA’s announcement of the suspension, Dollaway took to Instagram with a message for the public. In it, he tied the drug test failures to substances he unknowingly came in contact with, while getting treatment for his back injury in Mexico.
“In light of the recent decision made by USADA to issue me a 2 year sanction,” Dollaway wrote, “I want to be very clear that I did not knowingly nor intentionally take any performance enhancing drugs. As many people close to me are aware, I suffered a serious back injury in 2016. With my insurance capped out, I needed to find alternative solution if I wanted to continue to compete in Mixed Martial arts. I traveled to Mexico to have a stem cell procedure done and ended up coming into contact with the mentioned substances. I am sorry to let my friends, family and fans down. I want to personally thank Donna Marcolini the VP of health and performances of the UFC for her assistance and for believing in me. I will take this time to continue working on my health and hopefully be ready to come back in 2020 as a healthy athlete/fighter for the first time since 2016.”
Dollaway will be available to return to competition on December 13th, 2020, following his two year suspension. He will be 37-years-old.