Although testosterone replacement therapy hasn’t been a topic of debate for all that long in the MMA world, it has more than worn out its welcome with the sport’s fans and more than a few fighters to boot. It’s been criticized so much that even Dana White has flip-flopped on the issue, now vowing to “test the shit” out of fighters on TRT out of fear that they will abuse it. The general dislike for this newfangled “therapy” is only intensified when it involves past steroid abusers like say Vitor Belfort, who tested positive for 4-Hydroxytestosterone following his Pride 32 loss to Dan Henderson in 2006.
As you surely recall, Belfort was granted a TUE for TRT prior to his UFC on FX 7 victory over Michael Bisping. Although most of us were willing to give “The Phenom” a pass for that event because he was able to shut up Michael Bisping for a minute or two, it looks like NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer will not be so lenient should Belfort and past dopers like him fight in Nevada any time soon:
I don’t see Vitor Belfort getting a TRT exemption from us. I really don’t and I feel kind of bad for him in some ways because if he has learned from his mistakes and now he’s trying to do it the right way and his levels are low with the treatment good for him and I hope he is doing that.
In May of last year, Kizer likened TRT to “the new Viagra” amongst combat sports athletes upon granting Chael Sonnen a TUE for UFC 148. But before you jump on Kizer for playing both sides of the fence by granting Sonnen a TRT exemption, you should first understand the difference between past users like Belfort and guys like Sonnen, at least according to Kizer:
He handled himself well and some people handle themselves well. Some guys are going to have to jump through some additional hoops, but even Chael wasn’t a prior steroid (user) that could have caused the deficiency like Vitor.
Whether or not Kizer stands by his word remains to be seen, especially considering that Belfort hasn’t fought in Nevada since getting front-kicked into a living death by Anderson Silva at UFC 126. At the same time, it’s great to see guys like Kizer and Dana White finally labeling TRT for what it really is: legalized cheating. Now if only we could get them to ease off on the whole “marijuana” thing. It’s saving our annoying children’s lives, dammit!