Steroids in MMA
Which MMA Fighter Will Test Positive For Steroids Next?

Dana White Says He’s ‘Absolutely 100 Percent Against TRT’, Vows to Test the [Expletive] Out of Abusers

(Photo via MMAOpinion)

Ever since it began making headlines thanks to Chael Sonnen and Nate Marquardt, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) has been one of the most controversial topics in MMA. To some, it’s medically-sanctioned cheating — a legal loophole that allows giant killing machines to have even more firepower in their quest to injure their opponents. To others, it’s…uh…well, it’s a freedom country, so why even discuss it?

But although UFC president Dana White has flip-flopped on TRT in the past, he’s finally made up his mind, and fortunately, he’s coming down on the right side of the issue. While in London for UFC on FUEL 7, White came out strongly against the practice, blasting fighters who abuse hormone therapy to jack up their testosterone levels during training. Here’s what he had to say following the Barao vs. McDonald weigh-ins:

TRT has become a way for people to cheat. If this is what your normal level should be and then you have guys training at huge levels (of testosterone) for their whole camp then tapering down to get to normal levels before the fucking fight, that’s cheating, and I don’t like it anymore.”

There are plenty of guys in the UFC that are naturally gifted and talented fighters. If you’re testosterone levels are too low then you’re probably too old to be fighting, stop fighting!

We can test everybody. I’m telling you right now, if you are using testosterone replacement therapy, get ready motherfuckers because we’re going to test the shit out of you.”

Some things recently have lead me to believe that people are fucking cheaters, people are taking good things and turning it into a bad thing and if you want to play those games then guess what, we’ll play!

There’s so much shit out there. Right now there’s banned substances and and we follow the regulations and we’re going after the banned substances, TRT was never one of them and they would be tested leading up to the fight to make sure the levels are good. If you’re on TRT now, you’re going to wish you weren’t. We’re going to test the living shit out of you.”

You have guys that go in there 100% natural with his talent and natural ability, against someone on TRT, basically someone thats on steroids. I’m absolutely 100 percent against TRT and now I’m going to start fighting it 100 percent with the athletic commissions and I want nothing to do with it.”

White re-stated his position during yesterday’s post-fight press conference:

If you asked me three months ago, it’s legal, it’s sports science. But everyone figures out a way to take a great thing and cheat and make it bad. I think from what I’ve seen over the last year, I’ve seen situations where … what I believe guys are doing is jacking this stuff up through the roof through their entire training camp and getting back down to normal levels right before the fight – which is cheating. I hate it…

There have been a couple of situations that have changed my mind about it,” White said. “You know me. I’m always telling you what I think, anyway, but without getting into it, I don’t think I have to. When you see guys coming in that look like they’re on steroids, yet they have a TRT exemption?

If you’re tested during your training camp, there’s a number that you should be at. That better be where your f—ing number is when you get tested…I haven’t said anything to the athletic commission, but I’m going to make it very clear that I’m not a fan of testosterone replacement therapy.

In short, this is great news. Dana hits the nail on the head with the real problem related to TRT — that a fighter with an exemption can be carrying a completely unnatural level of testosterone in his body during training camp, as long as he can get within the approved limit when it’s time to fight. And does anybody really believe that all these elite athletes with action-figure physiques suffer from hypogonadism? As we’ve said before, pics or GTFO.

Cagepotato Comments

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funkybuddha808- February 17, 2013 at 7:34 pm
Testing the sh*t out of everyone to begin immediately after Jones vs Sonnen.
amsterdamheavy- February 17, 2013 at 6:32 pm
@Snoop: Ya, I see you didnt read it because even in that short post you obviously dont know what the fuck youre talking about. Good luck with that.
snoop dog shit- February 17, 2013 at 5:41 pm
@Amster... If I want to learn about TRT or the science behind it and the differences between TRT and performance enhancing drugs I might look to, I don't know any one of a number of sources, that aren't a comment on a Cage Potato thread.
Dagnut- February 17, 2013 at 1:53 pm
he's gonna test the shit out of everyone!!!...except Sonnen, well cos he has a valid reason....and Dan Henderson because come on he's had a bad injury and he's in his 40's....and Vitor Belfort cos I mean he's all the way down in Brazil and the timing is just not right....but all the rest you watch out!!...the fact that all these fighers are big per pay per view draws is just a coincidence
amsterdamheavy- February 17, 2013 at 11:59 am
@PEN - My apologies, I wasnt clear on this specific point. Random testing for everyone, with a minimum of monthly random checks. People granted TRT exemptions should be tested far more rigorously, because they are already taking the shit and the difference between "legal" and "abuse" is as little as 100mg a week.

I also agree with you in that if the penalties for failing a PED test were more harsh, then a less restrictive testing schedule would be required. 6, 9, 12 months bans dont seem to be enough based on the number of people weighing the risk and then getting caught. If you dont have harsher penalties, which Im all for, then you need to test more often.

I see the issue as a bit more complicated than something that can succinctly be summed up in a few sentences, perhaps because of my familiarity with the subject matter. As far as thinking myself "smart", meh. Most people have certain areas of knowledge where they could be considered subject matter experts to some degree, this is one of mine. On the flip side, I am not considered an expert communicator, and you pointing this out is akin to mentioning that the sky is blue or that the sun sets in the west every evening.
cman- February 17, 2013 at 11:33 am
Informative, but why you included advice on rotating injection locations and sounded very first person.... Hmmmm.
amsterdamheavy- February 17, 2013 at 12:05 pm
I mentioned that to illustrate that there is a price to pay for using potentially less detectable esthers. For example, when Overreem vanished and had issues and all of that responding to that first test after he was in the UFC, I am pretty certain he was waiting for a short chain esther to clear from his system before pissing.
Pen Fifteen- February 17, 2013 at 10:41 am
If you can't make a case for year-round random testing in less than 500 words, no one is going to listen to you anyway. The science lesson is totally irrelevant to the main point you're trying to make. If you were as smart as you think you are, you'd understand something about rhetoric as well as steroid chemistry.

For example, it's fucking absurd to suggest you'd need to test everyone on a 3-day basis to prevent steroid abuse. The whole point of random testing is that it strikes a balance between cost and efficacy. Yes, you can take short-chain roids, but if someone could show up at your house on any given day, you do it at your own risk. The idea of penalties being proportional to the likelihood of getting caught is how you correct for the fact that it's impossible to catch every instance of cheating. Athletes in track and field are subject to random testing, which typically means around a half dozen times a year, with a requirement for 24/7 availability. They also face a 2-year ban for a first offense, which provides a serious counterbalance to any gains in performance.

The ideas being posed here aren't novel, they're just novel to MMA. Dana White doesn't give a shit if the sport is clean, he only cares about making money. If you want a clean sport, pressure your regulators to spend the money to preserve public interest. It's not super-complicated.
amsterdamheavy- February 17, 2013 at 9:48 am
@Snoop: Yeah, I do expect people who maybe want to LEARN SOME SHIT to actually read a 500 word comment. I know most of you motherfuckers probably cant handle a 500 character comment, but give it a shot, or dont and stay ignorant. Believe it or not, what Ive put up here is pretty damn accurate and anyone who doesnt already know, who wants to be informed about this subject that impacts our sport, should read it.

What the fuck am I saying? This is Cage Potato, right? I guess I just wasted my time.
JayJitsu310- February 17, 2013 at 10:21 am
Yeah, you're wasting your time here, if your post doesn't contain a dick joke, or a reference to one of their favorite fighters they won't read it. BTW great post.
anderson wanderlei paulo thiago alves silva- February 17, 2013 at 9:46 am
I need to get rid of my winter weight. Wonder if I could get in trt
amsterdamheavy- February 17, 2013 at 12:21 pm
Look up Anavar - it would help with that with essentially no side effects. Would probably cost about $6 a day for as long as you want to use it, but you could get away with half of that as well....If youre over 40, TRT would definitely help as well.
snoop dog shit- February 17, 2013 at 9:32 am
@Amster... Jesus dude you expect people to read a comment that's longer that the article? Even your name is too long!
amsterdamheavy- February 17, 2013 at 9:17 am
"In short, this is great news. Dana hits the nail on the head with the real problem related to TRT — that a fighter with an exemption can be carrying a completely unnatural level of testosterone in his body during training camp, as long as he can get within the approved limit when it’s time to fight."

This is inaccurate. If you are on TRT, then you testosterone level should *NEVER* *EVER* exceed what is considered "natural human". If your levels exceed, lets say 1200 (and thats really, really fucking generous) then you are no longer on TRT, you are using steroids. The difference between "steroids" and "TRT" is in the blood work from a full testosterone panel.

A TRT dose, generally speaking, could be from around 70-100MG of a long chain esther testosterone like enanthate or cypionate every week to 10 days.

If your taking the same substances as "steroids" then youre going to be doing several times that a week. Back in the mid-late 60s, bodybuilder would use about 250MG of testosterone a week, and usually an oral like Dianbol. Fast forward to today, and people wouldnt consider doing less than 500MG of test a week as "it isnt worth it".
What I am getting at here is there is an order of magnitude difference between "steroids" and TRT; and its, at a minimum, 3-4x the weekly dose of the same substance.
NOW, regarding testing for this stuff; weekly testing wont cut it. This is because the esther attached to the testosterone impacts how readily your body can use it, and how long it is detectable in your system. The two long chain esthers I mentioned would be caught in a weekly test, because they break down in the 13-15 day range as I recall. Anyone with experience or a modicum of knowledge on this subject will know that if you want to dog the testing, you just switch to a shorter esther. We have testosterone suspension, which is pure testosterone and undetectable after a maximum of 3 days, but as short as ONE day. Next is testosterone propionate, which is in the 4-5 day range. The same thing that causes the shorter or longer detection times also means you have to take the hormone more frequently. Suspension and Prop users inject daily or near daily, not once a week. Test Suspension is an especially painful injection as well, so rotating the injection site becaise more difficult with the increased injections. Anyway, these short chain esthers are what I suspect Lesnar in particular of using - because he has the money to afford them.

So, ya, Dana is going to HAVE to test the shit out of anyone on TRT if he wants to keep the game clean. Im glad he is catching on, and I hope he understands, or has someone advising him that he may need to test anyone on TRT every 3 days to potentially keep them in line. That would be the price you have to pay to supplement your endogenous testosterone.
HOWEVER - this will do nothing to catch people that are NOT on TRT that are still using steroids. I personally think the "not on TRT but using steroids" crowd is larger than the "on TRT to cover steroid usage" crowd.
Perhaps to keep the sport clean we need real random testing year around, and at a minimum, at least once a month, though 2 weeks seems ever better to me. Thats going to be a lot of expense for testing, I hope Zuffa is prepared to invest in the sport in this way.
Hutch- February 17, 2013 at 8:13 am
So Dana is going to start testing the shit out of people like Chael, the guy he just gifted a title shot to? I don't think I'll start holding my breath just yet.