One of the most controversial subjects in MMA at the moment is without doubt fighters being allowed to undertake testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
Fighters who have low levels of testosterone can choose to undergo the treatment before a fight, that is as long as they obtain a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) from the Athletic Commission within the district they are fighting in.
Many people, myself included, feel TRT has no place in the sport and consider it to be the equivalent of using performance-enhancing drugs. In my own opinion, if you can’t compete naturally; then you shouldn’t be competing.
The Association of Ringside Physicians, a group of doctors that oversees all medical aspects of boxing and mixed martial arts, has put their negative views about TRT out in the open (via Mixedmartialarts.com):
The Association of Ringside Physicians (ARP), an international, non-profit organization dedicated to the health and safety of the boxer and mixed martial arts athlete, has released a consensus statement on therapeutic use exemptions for testosterone replace therapy in professional combat sport athletes, as follows:
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 Ringside Physicians supports the general elimination of therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy.
Dr. Ray Monsell
The hottest TRT user at the moment is former UFC light-heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort. Belfort, who is set to challenge Chris Weidman for his middleweight title, has been caught using steroids in the past, but has still been granted a TUE for his last three fights in Brazil. However, “The Phenom” is unlikely to get one when he fights Weidman in Las Vegas, where the fight is regulated by the Nevada State Athletic Comission.
The UFC announced last year that it’s now going to be very hard for fighters to be granted a TUE, but with this new information; it could be gone from MMA sooner rather than later.
What are your views on TRT? Is it it fair?