In June 2015, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) first brought up their plans to impose a ban on the use of IVs as a method of rehydration.
According to USADA CEO Travis Tygart, the main reason for doing so is to avoid gene doping or homologous blood transfusion, where a fighter could easily take in someone else’s blood, which in turn, gives them oxygen carrying capacity and recovery capacity.
Tygart deemed it as having "game-changing benefits".
A fighter would only be allowed to use an IV if they are in a hospital or clinic, or if they are having surgery. Should they wish to use it outside of the aforementioned, he or she would need to apply for a TUE.
In compliance to the USADA’s policy, the UFC implemented their IV ban on fighters in October, and failing to conform to this new rule could result in harsh sanctions such as multi-year suspensions.
A number of UFC fighters already aired out their grievances on the said rule. Most recently, newly minted bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz shared his thoughts on the matter, where in he feels that USADA holds an ulterior motive for banning IV use.
"To me, USADA is stepping in there because it’s about money," Cruz said. "The more rules that they make, the more rules there are to be broken, the more money they have to make because the rules are broken by the fighters."
"I have no problem taking any of their drug tests, doing any of that stuff," he continued. "Just taking away the one thing that hydrates us so we can put on a good show, I think they're peeking their nose in places that they don’t really know a whole lot about."