It didn’t take long for the UFC’s president Dana White to give his views on recent calls to ban testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) in MMA.
Yesterday a report was released from the Association of Ringside Physicians calling for a ban on the controversial treatment, this comes after recent studies which suggest the requirement for TRT is “extraordinarily rare”.
“The doctors came out and said they want to ban it? Well, that’s the answer,” White told The Associated Press on Monday. “It’s legal in the sport. The commissions let you do it. You get an exemption, and you have to be monitored and all the stuff that’s going on, but if they’re going to do away with it? There you go. It’s a problem solved.”
TRT is a controversial subject in MMA at the moment, with many of it’s top stars are taking the treatment. Most fighters are granted a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) to take TRT for medical reasons, but as the report states they are rarely needed.
Some of the fighters to have been granted a TUE previously are: Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Dan Henderson, Forest Griffin, Todd Duffee, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
The most questionable athlete to have been allowed to undergo the treatment is the 36 year old “Phenom”. Belfort has previously failed a steroid test the first time he fought Dan Henderson back in 2006, which raises eyebrows about the legitimacy of his need for TRT.
However, Belfort is unlikely to be granted a TUE when he takes on Chris Weidman for the middleweight title in Las Vegas, later this year. The Nevada State Atletic Commission’s former Executive Director, Keith Keizer, has previously said “The Phenom” would not be grated a license to use TRT if he fought in Nevada. Belfort has previously only been able to receive TRT’s while fighting in Brazil.
Surprisingly, White actually hopes the NSAC don’t grant Belfort a TUE. The UFC boss says the Brazilian is driving him crazy.
“He drives me crazy, and me and Vitor were not on good terms a few months ago,” White said. “Just because this whole TRT thing, I think, is unfair, and I said we’re going to test the living (daylights) out of him (during training). And we have, and he has complied, and he has been within the limits he’s supposed to have.”
White has always argued that the UFC do it’s most to clamp down on the use of performance-enhancing drugs and he still holds this opinion.
“We couldn’t be more proactive,” White said. “Drugs hurt us. Hurts our sport. Let alone our perception in the media and everything — it destroys great athletes. Drugs destroy great athletes, because once you start on them, you can never get off them. You’re on them for the rest of your career.”