UFC Senior VP of Athlete Health and Performance Clarifies IV Usage For Athletes

A representative of the UFC, Jeff Novitzky has clarified the policy on fighters using an IV to recover from a weight cut in series of posts.

Credit Nicole Bosco and UFC on YouTube

The UFC has begun clarification on the usage of an IV in athletes. 

Following Islam Makhachev’s victory in Perth, Australia on Saturday night he was accused of cheating. Makhachev defeated Alexander Volkanovski in a five-round war to retain the lightweight belt. After the fight, one of Volkanovski’s teammates, Dan Hooker took to Twitter to claim that Makhachev had used an IV to recover from a difficult weight cut. It was believed at the time that any IV usage was illegal and therefore Hooker was accusing Makhachev of breaking the rules, now it might not be so clear. 

Jeff Novitzky, VP of Health and Performace for the UFC took to Twitter to clear up the misunderstandings

Back in the early days of the UFC fighters were allowed to use rehydration tools such as an IV to help offset the severe weight cutting needed to make weight. Later it was limited in the amount of IV, and then it was presumed to be illegal altogether. Now Novitzky is explaining that some IV usage may be determined ok in certain scenarios. He wrote a series of posts on Twitter to shed some light on this subject. 

He explains that there was a ruling change in 2019 and that all fighters and teams were notified of this. The rule now is that IV is allowed to be used if recommended by a licensed medical professional or “after a licensed physician determines that they are medically justified.” This is pretty vague. It appears that all a fighter needs to do is hire a doctor or nurse as Makhachev was accused of doing and have them sign off that it was needed. 

Novitzky also went on to explain that there is a limit to the amount that is allowed and that first, the athlete must get permission from the Athletic Commission and the Commission must be made aware. It is unclear if this is the case with Makhachev if he did, in fact, receive any help. 

Published on February 16, 2023 at 10:39 am
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