For the second time since his ill-fated signing with the UFC, BJJ world champion Robert Drysdale has been forced to withdraw from a scheduled fight. In July, Drysdale pulled out of a UFC 163 match against Ednaldo Oliveira due to a “staph infection” — yes there are scare quotes around “staph infection,” we’ll get to that later — and now the undefeated light-heavyweight been denied licensure by the NSAC for his UFC 167 match against Cody Donovan, after an out-of-competition drug test came back with a 19.4:1 testosterone-to-epitestosterone (T/E) ratio.
That’s more than three times the NSAC’s testing threshold of 6:1 (which is considered overly liberal in the first place), and even beats the super-inflated T/E ratios that Alistair Overeem (14:1) and Chael Sonnen (16.9:1) previously turned in. If you’re a healthy adult male, your T/E ratio is probably around 1:1. In other words, Robert Drysdale is approximately 20 times the man you are.
Drysdale’s latest drug test didn’t come back positive for steroids, and NSAC boss Keith Kizer clarified that the submission ace hasn’t been suspended or fined as a result of the failed test — at least not by the athletic commission. As we’ve seen recently, the UFC has no problem taking matters into its own hands when it comes to testosterone abusers. So will the UFC will give Drysdale another chance to get his act together, or will he become the first none-and-done fighter since Benjamin Brinsa?
Right, so about that “staph infection”…
Here’s MMAJunkie with a very illuminating history about Drysdale’s history with testosterone therapy:
Less than a month before his scheduled UFC debut at UFC 163 against Ednaldo Oliveira earlier this year, [Drysdale] submitted paperwork to obtain a therapeutic-use exemption (TUE) to undergo testosterone-replacement therapy (TRT), according to documents MMAjunkie.com obtained through a public records request.
On his application, which is dated July 8, 2013, the 32-year-old Drysdale stated the TUE request was his first. He certified that he hadn’t used or was currently using banned substances and had no previous positive tests. Also included in the paperwork was a letter from a Las Vegas-based anti-aging clinic, TrimBody M.D., that stated Drysdale was taking weekly testosterone injections at the clinic to treat hypogonadism.
Additionally, a blood exam from Clinical Pathology Laboratories showed Drysdale had a free testosterone level of 156 ng/mL, which was below the testing facility’s normal range of 292 ng/mL to 1052 ng/mL. He was within the laboratory’s normal range for follicle-stimulating hormone (6.0 mIU/mL) and luteinizing hormone (2.1 mIU/mL).
Taken together, the levels are important determining factors in the diagnosis of primary or secondary hypogonadism, a condition in which the body fails to produce normal levels of testosterone. They also play a significant part in deciding whether an athlete is cleared for an exemption.
Despite filing TUE paperwork, Drysdale did not receive an exemption, according to Kizer. On July 16, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Drysdale withdrew from UFC 163, which took place Aug. 3 in Rio de Janeiro and was overseen by the Brazilian Athletic Commission, due to a staph infection.