Last Thursday, the Nevada State Athletic Commission banned therapeutic-use exemptions for testosterone-replacement therapy, which is now in full effect and has already put a short stop to a veteran in combat sport. Does the name Vitor Belfort ring a bell, anyone? My feeling now is that many more fighters are at risk, including the infamous .
Belfort has been under fire before and is the poster child for TRT, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the No.1 middleweight contender pulled out of the title shot at UFC 173 the day after the TRT ban was officially announced in Nevada. Belfort and his lawyer haven’t given a reason yet, but it’s pretty well known around the MMA community that he is contaminated with the synthetic treatment and won’t be clean for the drug test. In Belfort’s situation, he most likely uses it for legitimate reasons, and it’s not like he was cheating before the rule was put in place by the NSAC.
Chael Sonnen, Dan Henderson, Frank Mir, and for many others, TRT is deemed necessary because they are experiencing low levels of testosterone. And it already sounds like the new rule could potentially end the MMA career for fighters in their 30s and 40s.
At least that’s how Sonnen feels about his:
I am potentially in that same field. If this retires guys, then it retires guys. The rules are the rules, and the rules need to be followed. Personally, sorry to be long winded about this, but I’m going through this myself, where I’ve had to stop testosterone with the hope that we can find a new way to gain the results of upping testosterone to stay at a healthy level. If it doesn’t work, I may have to stop the sport. And it’s as simple as that.
Although, Sonnen is somewhat stress-free for his upcoming fight with Wanderlei Silva since it takes place in Brazil, but after that his future in MMA could definitely be in question.