Update June 22, 2017 – According to Boxrec Pliav has also been competing in professional boxing in the US during the course of his doping suspension.
It appears that Quebec may be turning a blind eye to doping suspensions when issuing licences for professional MMA.
Recently, at TKO 39, Khetag Pliev defeated his opponent, Francis Charbonneau, via first round stoppage after Charbonneau suffered an arm injury.
The problem? Pliev, a former wrestler, is serving a 4 year suspension for doping.
On March 18, 2015 the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport conducted an out-of-competition doping test in Toronto, ON. The test was positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, an anabolic agent prohibited by WADA standards.
Pliev admitted to the doping violation and accepted a 4 year period of ineligibility by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport. The suspension commenced on the date of sample collection, March 18, 2015, and concludes on March 18, 2019. The full suspension decision can be found here.
TKO 39, taking place in Quebec, would be subject to regulation of the Regis des alcools, des courses et des jeux. The Regis is tasked with following the WADA prohibited list with s. 71.1 of the Province’s Regulation Regarding Combat Sports reading as follows –
Quebec’s Act Respecting Safety in Sports tasks the Regis with denying licences in circumstances where granting one would be detrimental to the integrity of combat sports.
The above language is discretionary however it is difficult to understand how allowing a fighter to compete in MMA who is currently serving a doping suspension by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport ensures the “good reputation” of combative sports.
It is unclear if this is an anomaly, an oversight or Quebec policy but moving forward it would be good to see Quebec take doping suspensions from fellow regulators into account when making combative sports licencing decisions.