UFC Notifies Fighters of IV Use Rules Following Makhachev Allegations

Islam Makhachev, UFC 284
Islam Makhachev, UFC 284 Media Day. Credit: UFC/YouTube

Following Dan Hooker’s allegations regarding Islam Makhachev using an IV to re-hydrate ahead of UFC 284, the UFC has issued a reminder to fighters on the rules surrounding IVs.

Hooker took to social media to make the claims earlier this week, suggesting Makhachev had cheated in his fight with Alexander Volkanovski by relying on an IV. Makhachev’s camp later denied any wrongdoing.

While the UFC has not commented on the matter officially or otherwise, UFC Senior Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky offered a reminder to fighters on social media in a series of posts late Wednesday.

“UFC Anti-Doping Program’s (UFC ADP) IV rule was modified in 2019. Athletes, managers and support have rec’d multiple advisories on this rule change beginning in 2019,” Novitzky wrote. “All UFC ADP rules have been publicly posted since 2015. The IV rule advisories included the following:

“The following IVs are now permitted without a TUE: Those rec’d in the course of hospital treatments, surgical procedures, clinical diagnostic investigations; Those rec’d from a licensed medical prof. after a licensed physician determines that they are medically justified; IVs of less than a total of 100 mL per 12-hour period.”

“Separate of the UFC ADP rules, athletic commissions require any athlete who receives an IV during fight week to (1) obtain permission from the commission before receiving an IV and; (2) disclose use of that IV to the commission after its use. Despite the fact that IV use is now permitted under UFC ADP if administered by a “licensed medical professional after a licensed physician determines they are medically justified, the required disclosure of such use to an athletic commission could possibly jeopardize the commission licensing the fight.”

A similarly worded e-mail was also distributed to fighters, per a report by MMA Junkie.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) previously informed Cageside Press that “USADA takes all reports of possible violations seriously and we actively follow up on all information we receive.” They did not confirm whether they were in receipt of any evidence regarding Makhachev, or whether they were actively investigating Hooker’s allegations.


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