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UFC statement reveals why Ian McCall was allowed 'prohibited' IV exception prior to UFC 208

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Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Ian McCall was once again forced out of a fight after he fell ill prior to his scheduled fight against Jarred Brooks, which was set to go down at UFC 208 on Feb. 11, 2017 in Brooklyn, New York.

In fact, "Uncle Creepy" fell so ill that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), in conjunction with United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), had to break protocol and help him re-hydrate via IV — a banned practice under the new guidelines — because he "could’ve died."

In a statement released to MMA Fighting, UFC explains why:

UFC was aware of the situation regarding Ian McCall in advance of UFC 208, and his need to receive treatment for an acute medical condition via a prohibited method under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy. Prior to McCall receiving treatment, UFC was in communication with USADA and the New York State Athletic Commission regarding his condition. McCall has since submitted a retroactive therapeutic use exemption request to USADA – who is responsible for reviewing the use of any prohibited substance or method during the course of medical treatment.

Under the UFC Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) Policy, to receive approval of a TUE, athletes must submit medical records demonstrating a verifiable medical diagnosis and legitimate medical need for the requested medication or method in accordance with the applicable guidelines. Further, it must be determined that the athlete pursued and exhausted all non-prohibited alternatives to treat his condition and would return the athlete to a normal state of health without providing a performance-enhancing benefit.

The report also clarified UFC’s TUE policy:

"If emergency treatment of an Athlete requires the Use of a Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method, the Athlete must submit a TUE application to USADA with full medical documentation from the emergency as soon as possible after the start of the treatment. In such cases, the decision for the emergency TUE request will be made by the TUEC after treatment has taken place."

McCall’s situation was so dire that doctors thought for a moment that he might need emergency surgery to remove his gallbladder, but eventually ruled against it.

The cancelation for McCall was the fifth consecutive time that one of his scheduled bouts was axed, though the blame doesn’t exactly fall on "Uncle Creepy" for each occasion.