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Ian McCall granted retroactive TUE for IV use, cleared by USADA

Ian McCall post-fight (EL, MMAFighting)
Ian McCall has been granted a retroactive therapeutic use exemption for IV use ahead of UFC 208.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Ian McCall has been granted a retroactive therapeutic use exemption (TUE) by USADA for two IVs administered to the flyweight contender ahead of his scheduled fight on Feb. 11 at UFC 208, USADA announced Friday.

McCall, 32, pulled out of a planned bout against Jarred Brooks the morning of UFC 208 after falling ill following weigh-ins. The day prior, Feb. 10, McCall was administered two IV bags on the recommendation of Dr. Jeff Davidson of the UFC and UFC vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky after successfully making weight.

McCall explained on the Joe Rogan Experience that he was “vomiting and unable to hold down water,” thus leading to his need for an IV. McCall was ultimately transported to the hospital on Feb. 11 after his fight was called off.

The use of IVs is banned by USADA, the UFC’s anti-doping partner, however an exception is permitted in the event that an athlete “has an acute medical condition where an IV line was essential for treatment in a hospital admission, surgical procedure, or clinical investigation,” according to USADA guidelines.

That’s exactly what happened with McCall, according to a statement released Friday by USADA.

“After a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the potential violation, which included the retroactive TUE application process, USADA determined that the athlete had a diagnosed acute medical condition for which the use of an intravenous infusion is consistent with the standard of care,” the statement read. “Because McCall’s TUE application was granted retroactively, his use of a prohibited method will not result in an anti-doping policy violation.”

The announcement is a welcome bit of good news for McCall (13-5-1), a perennial top-10 ranked flyweight who has seemingly been snakebitten in recent years.

“Uncle Creepy” last competed in Jan. 2015, losing a close decision to John Lineker after the Brazilian badly missed weight. Ever since, McCall has suffered four consecutive fight cancellations on fight week, an unprecedented streak of bad luck, due to a variety of heath-related reasons regarding McCall and his opponents.

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