(Vitor anxiously waits to find out what kinds of drugs he’ll be testing.)
Trying to get Vitor Belfort to issue a clear statement about his relationship with testosterone replacement therapy has been pretty much impossible over the past few months. So far, what we know is that the thirty-five year old Brazilian – who has failed a drug test in the past – was granted a TUE for TRT prior to his UFC on FX 7 victory over Michael Bisping, but none of that matters because when you judge people, it sounds like you are a god and freedom and privacy and all that other fun stuff. Not that I’m trying to sound like a god or anything, but shady, evasive non-answers like these are one of the many reasons that Dana White has recently promised to crack down on TRT usage.
Yet at a press conference for UFC on FX 8, Belfort gave the reporters on hand a straightforward answer about his usage, claiming not only that he tests himself regularly to ensure that his levels stay within the acceptable range, but also that the UFC has always known about his usage. Via Tatame:
“The UFC always knew that I use, do not do it to cheat. I have medical monitoring and UFC also accompanies it. Never broken through anything, always acted cleanly. Do blood tests every week to equal the testosterone levels of a person my age. Many people are averse to treatment. I am not. I am in favor of people being open and fair in what they are doing.”
Interesting if true. Of course, this statement raises more questions than it answers, but considering how dodgy Belfort has been about even acknowledging testosterone replacement therapy in the past, let’s take pride in the little victories and move forward.
Perhaps just as interesting as Belfort’s comments are the comments made by his UFC on FX 8 opponent, Luke Rockhold:
“I do not use and I see no problems, provided it is within the rules. TRT is part of the sport and now I just want to make sure that the fighters are being tested and are at normal levels. “
So a healthy twenty-eight year old athlete isn’t using testosterone replacement therapy, and we’re supposed to feel…good I guess? In a strange way, yes. As Rockhold pointed out – and as further demonstrated by TRT usage from people who blatantly don’t need TRT – the treatment is as much a part of our sport now as sprawl training. Despite the fact that there’s no reason for Rockhold to need TRT, it is still pretty gutsy of him to compete without it. And to think, some people still stereotype the MMA community as steroid abusing lunatics.
UFC on FX 8 goes down on May 18 from the Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil.