(What…expecting someone else? Photo via Getty)
Start praying to whatever deity you see fit, Taters, because it looks like some progress is finally being made in the ongoing war against TRT in MMA. Yesterday, The Association of Ringside Physicians — an “international, non-profit organization dedicated to the health and safety of the boxer and mixed martial arts athlete” — released a statement calling for the end of therapeutic use exemptions for testosterone replacement therapy in combat sports, on the grounds that the treatment is being quote “abused out the asshole” by MMA fighters.
Alright, that quote might have been made up but this one definitely isn’t:
The incidence of hypogonadism requiring the use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) in professional athletes is extraordinarily rare. Accordingly, the use of an anabolic steroid such as testosterone in a professional boxer or mixed martial artist is rarely justified.
Steroid use of any type, including unmerited testosterone, significantly increases the safety and health risk to combat sports athletes and their opponents. TRT in a combat sports athlete may also create an unfair advantage contradictory to the integrity of sport. Consequently, the Association of Ring side Physicians supports the general elimination of therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy.
What does this mean, exactly? Not much. Or rather, not much yet.
You see, the ARP doesn’t actually have any power to get the gears moving on an anti-TRT crusade — they are simply the most respected organization so far to come out against it. That they decided to release such a statement, however, does further the notion that TRT is no longer just a topic of debate among hardcore MMA fans. And as more organizations like the ARP come out against TRT, general awareness regarding the treatment increases. Hopefully, this awareness will in turn put pressure on the doctors handing out unnecessary exemptions to fighters to reconsider.
When you take into account that most of the doctors in charge of monitoring these things appear to have a shaky understanding of the treatments themselves, one would think that further negative publicity could incentivize them to stop handing out exemptions altogether.
And the even better news? Recently converted TRT detractor Dana White has seconded the Association’s claims, stating quote “I am going to use this to fuck those cheating sonsabitches worse than they’ve ever been fucked before.”
I’m being told that the above statement is another unfortunate misquote. The actual statement White made to the Associated Press was:
The doctors came out and said they want to ban it? Well, that’s the answer. It’s legal in the sport. The commissions let you do it. You get an exemption, and you have to be monitored and all the stuff that’s going on, but if they’re going to do away with it? There you go. It’s a problem solved.
Although we think Dana might be misinterpreting the ARP’s statement as that of the actual doctors in charge of handing out TRT exemptions, this is undoubtedly good news for everyone not named Vitor Belfort. So fire up the band, Nation! The time for celebration is nearly upon us! (*releases flock of doves and uses them as skeet practice*)