“…and were it not for my testosterone deficiency, your honor, I would have thrown him completely out of the Octagon. Case closed?” (Pic: NBCSports.com)
A series of events that unfolded quickly and ended with Nate Marquardt‘s exile from the UFC could see an equally swift ruling by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission later this week. Marquardt and his representatives are on the docket for a July 13th appearance, during which time they hope to plead their case for his use of Testosterone Replacement Therapy.
As in the cases with Sean Sherk, Josh Barnett, and most recently Chael Sonnen, it’s not uncommon for hearings like these to be delayed for months after a failed drug test, but maybe that’s just due to California’s ‘totally chilled out’ approach to legal proceedings. Unlike the Sonnen case, this one shouldn’t be marred by a possible multiple personality disorder nor probable pseudologia fantastica. Instead, we may get to hear some key decision makers weighing in on the facts of TRT at an important crossroads in our sport.
This case has helped resurface the PED issue that was clouded over by Chael’s antics, and it looks like some folks are taking a step to curtail what may well be an epidemic in MMA. As reported by ESPN.com, the NSAC will soon begin random, out-of-competition drug testing of MMA fighters. Along with enhanced testing is the need for policy reform. In the case of Marquardt, there are still questions as to why he was allowed to fight in New Jersey despite having incomplete paperwork supporting his use of TRT. In Pennsylvania, there seems to be a consensus that had he cleared his weigh-in day blood test, Marquardt would have been allowed to compete, even though the PSAC had tests showing that his testosterone levels were highly elevated throughout the week. Allowing a fighter to have excessive testosterone levels in the weeks prior to a fight so long as he’s at a normal level come fight time sounds a lot like sanctioned cycling, and whether Marquardt’s treatment is legit or not it presents an unfair advantage in training. Both the evidence presented in this case and the outcome could set new precedent in our sport. Or, you know, not much of anything could be decided and we’ll all go on about our business until this happens again down the road. Either way, we’ll keep you posted.