Team Makhachev goes from denying IV use, to ‘it was allowed the entire time’

Islam Makhachev can’t seem to catch a break. Not only is his UFC 284 win being questioned, but he might even get suspended.

Recently, Brett Okamoto of ESPN wrote a thread on Twitter, in which he tried to cover for him. He took an excerpt from the USADA handbook which says that an athlete can use IV. However, this only applies if the treatment is a must and is carried out by a licensed doctor.

He posted the following tweets:

“According to the UFC/USADA handbook, an IV can be used if it is “determined to be medically justified and within the standard of care by a licensed physician and administered by a licensed medical professional.”

“I sought further clarification and here’s the bottom line: If an athlete is administered an IV of more than the permitted 100 mL, as long as it’s done by a licensed pro it is NOT a violation, even in cases where dehydration (caused by a weight cut) is the issue being treated.”

“In other words, IVs used to treat severe dehydration caused by cutting weight are not REALLY banned, as long as a physician is the one to justify and perform it.”

Fans responding to the thread are calling out Okamoto for doing damage control for the UFC. They’re saying that he’s trying to legitimize what Makhachev’s team did. Dan Hooker, who accused Islam of using IV, feels the same way.

He pointed out that Okamoto left out a key detail from the USADA guidelines. He said that an athlete must first get the green light from the commission. Then, they must inform the commission when the procedure is completed. Hooker tweeted the following:

“Athletic commissions require any athlete who receives an IV surrounding a fight to (1) obtain permission from the commission before receiving an IV and; (2) disclose use of that IV to the commission after its use.”

“Pretty important part to leave out….” he added.

Islam’s firebrand manager Ali Abdelaziz tweeted in Islam’s defense. He said that up to three liters of IV are allowed as long as the therapy is done professionally.

“For all those idiots out there, any fighter under the UFC banner can take 2-3 liters of IV as long as it’s done by a nurse or a professional, next week I’m gonna expose everybody. Islam Makhachev is the Pound-For-Pound King”

Both Hooker and Abdelaziz have since deleted their tweets.

Regardless, it looks like Islam’s team wants to get a retroactive therapeutic use exemption for their IV usage. Meanwhile, the UFC and its partner ESPN are trying to cover up and protect the lightweight champion.

As seen in the discussion above, IV therapy is a very controversial subject in the UFC. There’s also been cases of UFC athletes, who have been suspended for using it.

Back in 2019, middleweight star Paulo Costa greatly suffered because he used IV to rehydrate. One of his trainers apparently recorded a video of him using it to rehydrate. He blackmailed Costa and was dropped from his team.

Costa was fined by two athletic commissions and wasn’t allowed to compete for six months.