Testosterone Replacement Therapy (better known as TRT) has been a slippery slope of sorts when it comes to combat sports. While it certainly has medical uses and could be beneficial to men whom have lower testosterone as they get older, instances of abuse have always been a point of concern. The problem arises it when elite athletes use it to gain what is perceived to be an advantage in the sense that a man in his 40’s can have the testosterone of a man in his last teens or 20’s. In cases where it is prescribed by a doctor and proper paperwork is filed with the appropriate athletic commission then TRT exemptions have been granted. Unfortunately as time passed seemingly more and more people sought out to obtain these exemptions. While I am certainly not in the medical field so am ill equipped to comment on the full scope of such treatments, it certainly has become the hot button issue for MMA with several fighters and promoters speaking out against its usage and the perceived advantages fighters can gain from it.
Today marks a huge milestone for those who have been fighting against the treatment as the Nevada State Athletic Commission voted unanimously to officially ban TRT from all combat sports in the state of Nevada as well as refuse future exemptions to any and all fighters seeing one, even if they had previously been granted on in the past. With several boxing and MMA organizations hosting events in the state this will have a very large effect on the sports.
UFC president Dana White whom has recently become very outspoken against the uses of TRT says that “it is a great day in the sport, TRT needed to go away” and added that in terms of the UFC’s drug regulations “we follow Nevada.” If in fact the UFC applies this policy to the areas in which the UFC acts as the Athletic Commission (typically in other countries minus Brazil) than this could indeed have huge ramifications on MMA and especially the UFC.
As this story continues to develop we will keep everyone posted.
UPDATE: The UFC issued the following statement:
The Ultimate Fighting Championship fully supports the decision made today by the Nevada State Athletic Commission regarding the immediate termination of therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT),” the statement read. “We believe our athletes should compete based on their natural abilities and on an even playing field. We also intend to honor this ruling in international markets where, due to a lack of governing bodies, the UFC oversees regulatory efforts for our live events. We encourage all athletic commissions to adopt this ruling.”
UPDATE # 2: Now it is being reported that the Brazilian commission is following suit as well as Dan Henderson will be the last fighter to receive at TRT exemption for his March 28th rematch with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.