‘Where there’s smoke, there’s fire’ – Alexander Volkanovski’s manager continues Makhachev accusations

Alexander Volkanovski's manager Ash Belcastro discusses the IV use allegations on Islam Makhachev after UFC 284.

By: Milan Ordoñez | 4 months ago
‘Where there’s smoke, there’s fire’ – Alexander Volkanovski’s manager continues Makhachev accusations
Alexander Volkanovski after losing to Islam Makhachev at UFC 284. IMAGO | AAP

UFC 284 ended with a couple of controversies. Outside of the scorecard debate on the close fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Islam Makhachev, there were also some cheating accusations, particularly from Dan Hooker.  

Volkanovski’s manager Ash Belcroft appeared in a recent episode of the MMA Hour and briefly touched on the said issue thrown at Makhachev. 

Alexander Volkanovski’s manager gives statement on IV allegations

After the bout, Alexander Volkanovski’s teammate Dan Hooker went on social media to accuse Makhachev of cheating via IV use. The post was cryptic, baseless, and stirred up a conversation. 

Team Makhachev, through manager Rizvan Magomedov, fired back with a brief statement. 

“We all know this is completely BS. The guy is a loser. He’s salty and just looking for attention, and that’s it.”

Volkanovski’s coach Eugene Bareman released his own statement via Submission Radio, where he refused to elaborate on the matter. 

“We have reliable information to a point. I will half-plead the fifth. Can you half-plead the fifth? The two and a half?” he said. 

“It’s frustrating because the whole sport should be played on an even playing field. Then again, you can’t reliably say that Islam cheated, so I wouldn’t go out there and say that in the manner that Dan did.

“That’s just—I don’t think you can reliably say that. But something was going on there.”

In his interview with Helwani, Belcroft’s response was as vague as Bareman’s. But he did admit to not knowing who allegedly used the IV. 

“We were given information from the company that did it. But we’ll go out and say this: I don’t know who did it. I’m not gonna sit here and say that. But what we were given was information that it happened, but I don’t know who did it, what athlete, or if any at all. And that’s it.”

Belcroft did echo a part of Bareman’s statement. 

“Where it did or it didn’t (happen), where there’s smoke there’s fire, and it’s f–ing burning.” 

USADA’s rule on IV use

USADA imposed a ban on IV use for rehydration in 2015. For reference, here’s what the rule states

“All IV infusions and/or injections of more than 100mL (~6.8 tablespoons) per 12 hour period are prohibited at all times, both in- and out-of-competition, except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital admissions, surgical procedures or clinical investigations, without an approved Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).

“If a prohibited substance is administered intravenously or via injection, a TUE is necessary for this substance regardless of whether the infusion or injection is less than100mL.

“Infusions or injections are permitted if the infused/injected substance is not on the Prohibited List, and the volume of fluid administered does not exceed 100 mL per 12 hour period.”

According to the agency, such rules were implemented ‘to protect clean sport and athlete health and safety’ because IVs could change blood test results, mask urine test results or be used as a medium to clear the system of any banned substance. 

Both Alexander Volkanovski and Islam Makhachev kept mum on the matter the entire time. 

Alexander Volkanovski’s next fight

After a disappointing UFC lightweight championship debut, Alexander Volkanovski will go back down to his home weight class at featherweight, where he will once again defend his undisputed title. He is slated to face interim champion Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290. 

For the 34-year-old Alexander Volkanovski, ‘El Pantera’ is his ‘most dangerous’ opponent. 

“I always look at Yair as a more dangerous opponent for me than an Islam [Makhachev] because of that crazy, sporadic, always looking for a finish in the striking, and unpredictable behavior,” he said on Freestylebender. “It’s different. 

“What’s a harder fight? I’ll probably say Islam is gonna be a harder fight. But, who’s more dangerous? I’ll say Yair is more dangerous, it excites me, he’s going to have these big threats and see how I deal with them.”

UFC 290 happens on July at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. 

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About the author
Milan Ordoñez
Milan Ordoñez

Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments.

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