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The War on Drugs: California Ruling Strikes Down TRT Exemptions for MMA Fighters Until Further Notice


(Image via Fightland/RyanLoco)

A decision made during a California State Athletic Commission meeting in Los Angeles on Monday could have a major impact on the ongoing testosterone replacement therapy debate in MMA. Among the topics covered during the eight-hour session was a new proposed rule that would standardize the process for obtaining therapeutic use exemptions for testosterone. But the rule was successfully challenged by Department of Consumer Affairs lawyer Michael Santiago. As FightOpinion reports:

“[Santiago] said that until there is a statute/regulation on the books regarding testosterone that the commission should not be using an ‘underground’ policy of approving T usage. He argued that testosterone is considered a banned substance.

The end result is that fighters like Dan Henderson, Chael Sonnen, and Frank Mir will not be allowed to use testosterone while fighting in California until a law is on the books that explicitly spells out approval for T usage…[T]he UFC will be furious about this development given how many guys they have fighting in California who love testosterone. Vitor Belfort’s sympathy plea for continued testosterone usage means he won’t be fighting in California any time soon…

Santiago’s position will now put UFC in an interesting dilemma — will they huff and bluff by backing away from running shows in California or will they accept the new reality on the ground? If UFC backs away from California, it will cost the commission’s budget big time. UFC wants to talk tough about testosterone usage now, so let’s see if they will back up their public talk by walking the walk with future California events.”

At the moment, the UFC does not have any events scheduled in the state of California through September, and you have to wonder if they’ll keep their distance for the time being, if only to save themselves the hassle. Though UFC president Dana White has come out strongly against hormone-replacement therapy among fighters in his promotion, marquee fighters like Vitor Belfort, Dan Henderson, and Chael Sonnen continue to use TRT as a prerequisite for competition.

The good news is, the California ruling could be the first real step towards a more level playing field in the sport. We’ll keep you posted.

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Mr_Misanthropy- June 12, 2013 at 7:40 pm
Helina, you dumb cunt! Grafting from home is just as illegal as grafting in the judge's chamber or a Senator's office! Let's see if you think Andrea is so fucking cool when she's serving 65 months at club fed.
Mr_Misanthropy- June 12, 2013 at 7:37 pm
I would like to see mandatory TRT supplementation for combat licensing purposes. As long as we're going to level the field it might as well get some fertilizer dumped on it...
anderson wanderlei paulo thiago alves silva- June 12, 2013 at 12:54 pm
vitor just needs more jesus. they cant exempt that
Goog- June 12, 2013 at 9:20 am
As long as Belfort continues to dicknail tools like Bisping and Rockhold for my entertainment, I'll personally buy it for him.
lundyforlife- June 12, 2013 at 8:49 am
I think the picture alone should be evidence enough to ban TRT.
Fried Taco- June 12, 2013 at 8:38 am
The CSAC also approved a higher level for metabolites. So expect accusations soon about commission members receiving bribes from WAR MMA.
danomite- June 12, 2013 at 8:33 am
Now, correct me if I'm wrong about this, but these commissions only test for synthetic testosterone using the epi ratio test, right? And the fighters also have to come in at under a 6:1 ratio whether or not they have a TUE. So, basically these guys with TRT exemptions can keep taking their testosterone like nothing's changed as long as they keep it under 6:1 on fight night. Until the commissions start using the carbon-isotope tests to determine real from synthetic testosterone, these guys are just going to keep injecting testosterone, with or without the commission's approval. (I just checked after typing this and I think the CSAC uses carbon-isotope tests only if there is an abnormal epitestosterone ratio as a confirmation test and the NSAC doesn't use it at all yet).
mookiestick- June 12, 2013 at 8:29 am
If every UFC event is held in CA. Then I think we'll see a whole new rearabgement of who's actually a good fighter and who isn't. Guys like Hector Lombard, Alistar Overeem will fall off the face of te earth and Belfort is a given. I think we'll be in for a lot more suprises than you think. Just like any sport no one is invincble. Take Lance Armstrong for example, no one suspected him. No one is god, as much as we want to beleive it. I could see guys like even Aldo begin to falter. Just because someone hasn't been caught doesn't meant they're not a cheat. I'm not against steroids but I am against them being used in competition. As Lyoto Machida once said, "Until proven otherwise, assume all fighter are on PEDs".
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