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Tag: testosterone replacement therapy

Here’s What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Using TRT


(MMA’s new stance on hormone-therapy could spell the end of two legendary careers.)

The NSAC’s recent decision to ban TRT is going to make life a lot harder for the athletes who have depended on it during their training camps. Dan Henderson — who will receive the final therapeutic usage exemption for UFC competition — has compared it to banning insulin for diabetics. Meanwhile, Vitor Belfort thinks he’ll need about three months to transition to life without TRT.

That’s a very optimistic estimate, considering the deterioration that a person’s body goes through when they stop hormone-replacement therapy — especially if they’re not doing it correctly. In an eye-opening new interview with Fightland, endocrinologist Dr. Neil Goodman shared his insight about fighters who get on TRT, and all the awful things that happen when they try to get off of it. Some excerpts are below:

I’ve been involved with professional athletes who’ve been referred to me by their agents to get them off steroids because they knew they were on them and going to get caught, so I’m very familiar with this. I think this is a problem in all of competitive sports in that a lot of these guys begin in gyms, they’re taking all kinds of anabolic steroids. Then they go off and go to the doctor, and their testosterone’s low. The original cause of low testosterone is that most of these guys in competitive sports are taking excessively high doses of almost anything they can get their hands on.

Most men who legitimately have low testosterone have it because of a disease they were born with or developed within infancy and childhood. There are very few adult men who suddenly have low testosterone unless they have a pituitary tumor or they have serious illnesses. The biggest cause of low testosterone in any man is diabetes, obesity, hypertension, sleep apnea, or other serious medical diseases, so their low testosterone is a minor point to their really serious health condition that it comes with. The men who are born with a deficiency of testosterone have been on treatment since they were children, otherwise they would have never gone through puberty…

If a young guy comes in with low testosterone, my first thought is this guy’s been taking steroids. And I’m usually right.

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Brazilian Commission Bans TRT, Grants Dan Henderson Final Exemption for Shogun Rua Rematch


(In his pre-TRT days, Hendo never went to a football game without bringing a grill full of sausages. Nowadays, he’s relegated to carrying the glass dish of potato salad to the wine and cheese parties he attends with his wife. Getting old sucks. Photo via Combat Lifestyle.)

On the heels of a monumental decision by the Nevada State Athletic Commission to ban TRT exemptions, it appears the Brazilian Athletic Commission will be the first to follow suit. Vitor Belfort retirement status: Imminent.

But before the commission puts the kibosh on TRT entirely, they will first grant Dan Henderson their final exemption.

Henderson, of course, faces Mauricio Shogun next month in a rematch of their epic clash at UFC 139. On the heels of a first round knockout loss to Belfort at Fight Night 32 (the first of his career) and currently riding a three fight skid, a win is not exactly make-or-break for the 41-year old Henderson — who just signed a six-fight extension with the UFC — but crucial if he wants to remain in the highly coveted UFC top 10 rankings (*armpit fart*).

The news of Henderson’s exemption was passed along by CABMMA Medical Director Marcio Tannure to SporTV, who also informed the outlet that the ban will affect one Chael Phinneus Sonnen moving forward. Not that “The American Gangster” cares.

And with that, Dan Henderson becomes the first man to ever receive a TRT exemption in Nevada, and the last to receive one in Brazil. It’s as close to a poetic moment as we’re going to get in this damn sport nowadays.

-J. Jones

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BREAKING: Nevada State Athletic Commission Bans TRT Exemptions, Effective Immediately


(“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” / Photo via Getty)

The Nevada State Athletic Commission struck a blow for fair, healthy MMA competition today, voting for an immediate ban on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). Therapeutic usage exemptions (TUE) will no longer be granted to fighters, even for those who had been approved to use hormone therapy in the past. Furthermore, the NSAC will push other states to ban TRT as well, and won’t honor the TUEs approved by other state commissions.

Today’s hearing began with testimony from NSAC consulting physician Dr. Timothy Trainor, who explained the rarity of hypogonadism, and argued that if a competitor truly has hypogonadism, the athletic commission would be placing him at risk by allowing him to fight. (Hello, exactly!)

After discussing the recent anti-TRT letter from the Association of Ringside Physicians — and acknowledging that monitoring every TRT user requires more resources than they can commit — NSAC commissioner Skip Avansino motioned to ban TRT usage/exemptions in Nevada. With supporting votes from commissioners Pat Lundvall and Bill Brady, the motion quickly passed.

And so, MMA’s biggest PED loophole has been closed by the country’s most influential athletic commission — and other state athletic commissions may be forced to follow suit. Vitor Belfort will have to fight clean in Nevada, along with everybody else who previously had doctor’s notes for testosterone.

It’s a good day for the sport. We’ll update you with any major developments that follow.

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Grossest TRT Defense Ever?: Bigfoot Silva’s Manager Says He Was “Lactating” Before Undergoing Treatment for “Extremely Low Testosterone”


(That nickname is *really* starting to make sense now…) 

Well, it’s safe to say that the recently decided upon Potato Award for “Grossest Mental Image of the Year” is all but a lock now.

As you know, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva was recently suspended for nine months following a positive test for elevated testosterone at Fight Night 33. This came as a surprise to no one, as Silva previously tested positive for Boldenone in 2008, bringing into question how he was granted a TRT TUE in the first place. As was the case with his former steroid test, Silva is doing everything he can to proclaim his innocence in the matter, including suing the doctor who oversaw his therapy.

While anyone with half a brain should conclude that a) there is no way in Hell a 6’4″, 260 pound former steroid user actually needs TRT to survive and b) even if he did, then he probably shouldn’t be fighting for a living, Silva’s manager, Alex Davis, continues to rally for his client, even if it requires him to relay horrifying and embarrassing stories like this one (via MMAFighting):

This is one of the guys that really have authentic technical reasons to be on TRT. He has acromegaly. His pituitary gland overproduces GH (growth hormone) and that unbalances all his other hormones.

When I started managing him, he was actually lactating. He has extremely low testosterone, so he has a real reason to be on TRT. 

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY FOR YOURSELF NOW, JACK BYRNES?!

So in addition to being a dirty steroid user, Bigfoot Silva is probably the worst person to roll with in the history of ever. Glad we could establish that.

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Could We Be Looking at the End of TRT in MMA as We Know It?


(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.

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Vitor Belfort Plans to Roll the Dice, Will Apply for a TRT Exemption in Nevada


(Fedor wore it better. / Photo via MMAJunkie)

When UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta announced that he wanted to book Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort in Las Vegas, it suggested that Belfort’s well-documented usage of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) might be in jeopardy.

Though the Phenom had been allowed to undergo hormone therapy while competing in Brazil throughout 2013 due to the looser standards in his home country, his 2006 steroid bust in Nevada led former NSAC executive director Keith Kizer to claim that Belfort would be unlikely to secure a TRT exemption for any future fight in Vegas. Then, Keith Kizer suddenly left his post earlier this month, opening the door for a replacement who might be, shall we say, more amenable to the UFC’s needs.

Which leads into today’s news that Belfort will indeed be applying for a therapeutic usage exemption for TRT in Nevada when his title fight against Weidman is officially booked. Ariel Helwani passed along the news on last night’s installment of UFC Tonight:

He said he’s on TRT and that his doctors said he has to be on it. This has been prescribed and he’s planning on applying to be on a TUE for the next fight.”

Well, bullshit. For the sake of argument, let’s take Belfort at his word — he needs to load up on testosterone in order to function normally. Is that a valid reason for any athletic commission to grant him an exemption? You’re gonna let a guy use steroids because he’s too sick to compete without them? Honestly, that sounds like the worst reason to give a professional fighter a TUE. But hey, we all know that in Brazil, doctors are essentially Gods and their advice must be followed at all costs, no matter how ridiculous.

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Following UFC Suspension, ‘Bigfoot’ Silva Plans to Sue Doctor Who Oversaw His Testosterone Therapy


(Antonio’s shoe-size is “display only.” / Photo via instagram.com/bigfootsilva)

When Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva caught a nine-month suspension for elevated testosterone following his UFC Fight Night 33 battle against Mark Hunt, he claimed it wasn’t his fault — and we rolled our eyes. It’s hard to give the benefit of the doubt to a fighter who was previously suspended for a year due to a positive steroid test.

But Silva isn’t going quietly into his suspension. As he told MMAFighting’s Guilherme Cruz, Bigfoot plans to sue Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA) medical director Dr. Marcio Tannure, who authorized the veteran heavyweight’s therapeutic usage exemption for TRT, and oversaw his therapy. And if you listen to Silva’s side of the story, he might actually have a case here.

A week before his fight in Australia, Silva received a report from Tannure stating that his testosterone levels were low, and he should continue taking injections on a weekly basis. It seems possible that Tannure was unaware of just how soon Silva’s fight was coming up — but nevertheless, Silva’s followed the doctor’s orders, and it wound up costing him a $50,000 bonus and nine months of his career.

“I just did what they told me to do,” Silva told MMAFighting.com. “I’d never do something different that what the doctor told me to. I looked for a doctor with a good reputation, and he’s the UFC’s doctor in Brazil. I knew I’d be tested before and after the fight. Unfortunately, now I have to find the legal ways to overturn this situation or at least prove I’m not guilty…

“I took a shot at the same day he sent me that e-mail, and he asked me if I had another one to take with me to Australia, to take on fight week,” he said. “He authorized everything. I did exactly as I was informed to do.

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Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva Tests Positive for Elevated Testosterone, Hit With Nine-Month Suspension and Loss of $50,000 Bonus


(“Dammit, Jose! You told me this stuff was safe!” / Photo via Getty)

Sadly, one of the greatest heavyweight fights in UFC history will now have an asterisk next to it. Yesterday evening, MMAJunkie broke the news that Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva tested positive for elevated testosterone following his five-round war against Mark Hunt at UFC Fight Night 33, December 7th in Brisbane, Australia. As a result, the UFC — which regulated the event and was responsible for fighter drug-testing — has suspended Silva for nine months retroactive to the date of the fight, and stripped him of his $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus. The bout with Hunt will be changed to a no-contest on Bigfoot’s professional record, although Hunt still gets to keep his draw, and will receive the $50k that would have gone to Silva.

According to a statement released by a UFC rep, “Silva is on a medically approved regimen of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), and had been in compliance with therapeutic guidelines on all pre-fight tests performed prior to the event. The results of his test on the day of the event indicated a level of testosterone outside of allowable limit. Silva has been informed that the elevated testosterone level is a violation of the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy and his Promotional Agreement with Zuffa.”

As our own George Shunick put it, “Someone please explain to me how a man who is 280 pounds of bone, sinew and muscle has a ‘legitimate’ prescription for TRT.” That’s a very good question. When Silva tested positive for horse-steroids back in 2008, he blamed the result on an over-the-counter testosterone booster called Novodex, which he was using to treat his gigantism, brought on by cysts on his pituitary gland. And once again, Silva is claiming that his latest failed test is not his fault:

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UPDATED: CagePotato’s MMA Steroid Bust Timeline, Now With Testosterone Busts


(Dammit, Chael. We can never stay mad at you. / Photo via Getty)

Since it was first published in July 2009, our MMA Steroid Busts: The Definitive Timeline feature has grown to become the Internet’s most complete history of fighter PED use — as well as the busted fighters’ resulting excuses. But with the recent rise of testosterone replacement therapy, things began to get complicated. Should the list include a fighter who got caught with a 20:1 T/E ratio, even if he didn’t test positive for a particular steroid? It’s become clear that testosterone abuse is the new Stanozolol and we’ll be talking about this issue for years to come, so to keep things nice and neat, we’ve decided to stick every failed drug test for elevated testosterone on page 2 of the timeline.

Separating the testosterone busts into their own group revealed this damning statistic: “Of the aforementioned fighters who tested positive for elevated testosterone after fights, 1 was successful in those fights, while 4 were unsuccessful.” It’s too early to draw any hard conclusions, but TRT abuse may turn out to be the most useless unfair advantage in all of MMA.

Check out the new testosterone busts page of the Steroid Bust Timeline right here, and please let us know if we’ve forgotten any.

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MMA Drug-Roundup: Drysdale Goes Unpunished, Belfort Goes on the Defensive, Browne Undergoes WADA


(Pictured: Robert Drysdale’s father, left, and Robert Drysdale’s grandfather, right.) 

Testosterone and MMA go hand-in-hand like whiskey and breakfast (except they don’t hold hands, of course, because that’s what queers do). Unfortunately for many of today’s aging MMA stars, naturally produced testosterone dries up faster than a crick in a west Texas drought once they turn 30, forcing many of these dinosaurs to resort to the synthetic stuff in order to compete with the whipper-snappers who are trying to shamelessly take their jobs. And so, TRT was born.

While fighters like Vitor Belfort have utilized TRT to (literally) inject new life into their MMA careers, fighters like Robert Drysdale have damn near killed theirs before they even got started by abusing the stuff to a comical degree. Fortunately for Drysdale, it looks like the UFC will be letting him off easy for essentially pissing pure HGH last week and being subsequently pulled from UFC 167. A UFC rep recently spoke with MMAJunkie about Drysdale’s future in the organization following his botched drug test. In short, it’s still a go!

Obviously, Robert needs to establish that he is medically fit to participate and apply for the appropriate licensure,” the rep wrote in a prepared statement. “Assuming he is able to do this, he will fight for the organization at some point in the future.”

NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer said commissioners for the regulatory body will decide whether to place Drysdale on a future agenda to address the failed test. As of today, the commission also hasn’t levied any disciplinary action.

While we can’t imagine that this is the first impression the BJJ legend was hoping to make with the UFC, at least we will be able to see whether or not he was worth all the trouble he has given them so far. Hooray?

Speaking of TRT, Belfort recently attempted to clarify his previous statements that he would “stop doing TRT” if a title shot was on the line with FOX Sports. Those comments are after the jump.

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