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Tag: TRT

Today in TRT: Chael Sonnen Contemplates Retirement as CSAC Becomes Latest Commission to Issue a “Total Ban”


(Props: UFC Tonight via Snappy TV)

Like we all expected, the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s decision to ban all TRT exemptions last week has quickly been embraced by several other commissions both foreign and domestic. First, the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission followed suit, and now, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) is doing the same. As Zapp Brannigan would say, the bull’s eye has been hit and the dominos are falling like a house of cards. Checkmate.

The news was passed along by California State Athletic Commission Executive Officer Andy Foster (via MMAJunkie) earlier today, who stated:

The California State Athletic Commission fully supports the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s decision to eliminate Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE) for Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) in boxing and mixed martial arts. California is a strong supporter of anti-doping efforts. As part of California’s anti-doping efforts, the Commission recently began the rulemaking process to require meeting World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) standards as the only way to obtain a TUE for TRT. This standard is so high that it is an effective ban except under the most extreme circumstances. Until the rulemaking process is complete and the regulations are fully adopted, the Commission has a total ban on TRT. California remains committed to protecting the health and safety of athletes and having strict anti-doping standards is one of the ways this is accomplished.

I would have expected the CSAC’s official statement to be something more along the lines of “Chill, brah” but I guess this will do.

As more and more commissions move forward with the TRT ban, the already dire situation facing the small group of MMA fighters currently undergoing the treatment continues to grow bleaker. Fighters like Chael Sonnen, for instance…

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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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Vitor Belfort Withdraws From UFC 173 in Wake of TRT Ban, Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida Booked as Replacement Title Fight [UPDATED]


(Video via FOX Sports Live)

In the most predictable fight-withdrawal since Tito’s last neck injury, UFC middleweight Vitor Belfort has pulled out of his UFC 173 title bout against Chris Weidman, following the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s decision to ban TRT exemptions yesterday. I’ll give you a moment to stop laughing your ass off. Alright, then. FOX Sports Live broke the news late last night, running this brief statement from Belfort:

The Nevada State Athletic Commission recently altered its policy and no longer will permit testosterone use exemptions, and will not permit a TRT program. As other jurisdictions may follow suit, I am going to drop my TRT program and compete in MMA without it. Given the time constraints involved between now and my proposed next bout in May, I have determined not to apply for a license to fight in Nevada at this time.”

Well, at least Vitor isn’t pretending he’s hurt. By the way, the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission hasn’t yet decided if it will follow the NSAC’s lead on TRT prohibition, so Belfort might not want to make any hasty decisions about his hormone treatments just yet.

Luckily, the UFC had a backup plan loaded and ready to go. It was also revealed on the FOX Sports Live segment that Chris Weidman will remain on the UFC 173 card (May 24th, Las Vegas), and defend his middleweight title against former light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, who has gone 2-0 since dropping to 185 pounds last year. Here’s what Weidman had to say about the opponent switch:

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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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Booking Alert: Chris Weidman Will Face Vitor Belfort at UFC 173


(Chris Weidman cheers on NSAC officials as they deliberate. / Photo via Getty)

Chris Weidman‘s first middleweight title defense against someone not named Anderson Silva will take place at UFC 173 on May 24th. Weidman will be facing the young dinosaur Vitor Belfort, who is on a three-fight winning streak and most recently became the first man to knock out Dan Henderson at UFC Fight Night 32.

Of note: The fight is taking place in Las Vegas. Belfort’s last three fights were located in Brazil. Conspiratorially minded individuals suspected this clever booking had something to do with Belfort’s much-maligned TRT use. When venerable MMA journalist Kevin Iole tried to separate himself from Dana White’s cheerleaders (aka the MMA media) and call attention to the issue, he was reprimanded.

The TRT issue will, in some ways, overshadow the combatants and the other narratives present in the fight—Weidman coming into his own as champion after definitely proving his superiority over Silva, Belfort’s resurgence as a top contender, etc. The Nevada State Athletic Commission is unsure of whether they’ll award Belfort a therapeutic use exemption, while Dana White has switched stances on the TRT issue. He’s now hoping the commission denies Belfort’s TUE request and TRT gets banned from MMA. Go figure.

It’s going to be an interesting spring.

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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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3 Ways Dana White Will React to GSP’s Talk About Drug Testing


(Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

One of Dana White’s greatest talents is burying fighters. When old, broke war dogs speak out against the UFC, White cuts them down with assertions that he “makes millionaires” and labels detractors as “goofs” and “dummies.”

But can White do that to Georges St-Pierre, who recently called out the UFC for their drug testing policies. Well, we’ve already had a small taste of White’s verbal stylings. He questioned GSP’s manhood, implying that GSP airing his grievances with the media was somehow cowardly. He also said GSP’s actions were “kooky,” and that his claims were ridiculous.

That was just the opening salvo. What’ll Dana White say about his former meal ticket six months from now, a year from now, two years from now, when GSP’s relevance fades and insulting him carries less risk?

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