Athletes could face two-year suspension for IV ban violation

Fighters could be handed a two-year suspension should they violate the upcoming ban on Intravenous Rehydration (IV), which is set to impact the UFC from October 1. The world’s leading MMA promotion is committed to implement the ruling as set by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in accordance with World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) guidelines. In earlier reports, IMMAF gave insight into the reasoning behind the IV ban via CEO Densign White following his meeting with the Association of Boxing Commissions, as the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) aims to become a signatory to WADA with continued anti-doping efforts. On Aug. 23, UFC Vice-president of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky (with whom the IMMAF CEO recently met) featured on The MMA Hour to give further insight and to highlight the substantial punishment that fighters will face should they violate the IV ban. “The risk versus reward under this program, I mean if someone is found out to have taken an IV you’re facing a potential two-year ban, which is a long time in the UFC and in MMA,” Novitzky told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “Hopefully all those factors that are put forth, everyone will follow the rules.” As previously highlighted, there are several reasons for the IV ban, from the risk of infection, to the general dangers of extreme weight cutting which IV rehydration arguably promotes and the possibility of masking the traces of performance enhancing drugs through the use of IV. Novitzky’s words ring as a statement of intent towards openly frustrated competitors such as UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, who undergoes strenuous weight cuts and who recently claimed that he will continue to use IV rehydration despite the ban. Novitzky revealed just how surprised he was by the extent of weight cutting in Mixed Martial Arts, but also stressed that education is key for fighters who will need to revert back to oral rehydration. “It is something that [fighters] are going to have to deal with,” Novitzky said. “Whether it means walking around when fights aren’t scheduled a little closer to that fight weight, whether it means, which hopefully it does, being educated through us and through others on how to properly orally rehydrate. The studies and science show that as long as the dehydration isn’t too severe oral rehydration is actually better for you. It’s safer for you. Studies show that you’ll feel like exercise is a little bit easier and you’re exerting less if you orally hydrate.” “What was surprising to me was the prevalence of its use in this sport, not necessarily to try to defeat anti-doping tests, but for rehydration purposes,” Novitzky said. “That and the extreme weight cuts that were going on. That was a surprise.” It was understood that a test to determine if a fighter has used IV is yet to be developed, but Novitzky informed MMA Fighting of two methods that are under development, and furthermore, he explained that fighter’s test samples can be stored and tested later if necessary, once definitive tests are developed. For information on IMMAF’s Ant-Doping policy visit https://www.immaf.org/about/anti-doping/ See source article by Marc Raimondi at MMAfighting.com: http://www.mmafighting.com/2015/8/23/9192207/ufc-drug-czar-fighters-could-face-two-year-suspension-for-violating   [/spb_text_block]

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