It is with great pleasure that we report that the Nevada State Athletic Commission has banned TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) with immediate effect and that the Brazilian commission followed suit, with Dan Henderson’s application for later this month the last to be allowed.
The UFC has endorsed the decision, adding that whenever they are acting as the commission in international territories where no official body exists, such as in the UK, they will uphold the prohibition against TRT.
This is a massive win for all of MMA. Let us be clear – TRT was cheating, a loophole that allowed fighters to compete while using steroids.
It’s a sad fact that you can always find a doctor to sign off that you ‘need’ a treatment that gives you an advantage and this made TRT ripe for abuse. Throw in the fact that you tend to ‘need’ TRT if your testosterone is low, which tends to be caused by advancing age or prior use of steroids and it’s clear that a zero tolerance policy is the only credible option.
Sure, low testosterone is going to end your career as a mixed martial artists but all things end. MMA is not about bending the rules to help disadvantaged fighters compete, it’s about being the best you can be WITHIN the rules.
Should Nick Newell be allowed a steel robotic arm because he’s missing one? Should JDS be allowed to soccer kick Cain Velasquez as he doesn’t have an answer to his wrestling? Of course not.
The question as to whether a fighter with low testosterone is allowed to take steroids should be viewed in the same way and now it is, at least in some regions.
While most commissions have yet to follow suit, NSAC has always been a leader in such issues and while conspiracy theories remain regarding fighters using TRT without a doctor’s note, the fact that Vitor Belfort had been pulled from his main event title shot at UFC 173 and prior test results suppressed to avoid a suspension and allow him to get a title shot in future, this remains a wholly positive step.
MMA is about athletes putting work in in the gym, improving their skills and applying gameplans on fight night, not about getting unfair advantages because they have a sick note of dubious standing.
Header image stolen shamelessly from Tommy Toe Hold. Check him out on youtube for much MMA based hilarity.