The California State Athletic Commission Bans TRT

The California State Athletic commission has today, by way of official announcement, issued a complete and total ban on testosterone replacement therapy – TRT.

“CSAC” cited last week’s ruling by the Nevada State Athletic Commission to do likewise, and stipulated that the commission supports “anti-doping efforts.”

Further, the California commission stated that it’s their intent to adopt new standards that are in keeping with those of the “World Anti-Doping Agency.”

“CSAC” Executive Officer Andy Foster’s statement reads as follows:

The California State Athletic Commission fully supports the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s decision to eliminate Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE) for Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) in boxing and mixed martial arts. California is a strong supporter of anti-doping efforts. As part of California’s anti-doping efforts, the Commission recently began the rulemaking process to require meeting World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) standards as the only way to obtain a TUE for TRT. This standard is so high that it is an effective ban except under the most extreme circumstances. Until the rulemaking process is complete and the regulations are fully adopted, the Commission has a total ban on TRT. California remains committed to protecting the health and safety of athletes and having strict anti-doping standards is one of the ways this is accomplished.

So, there fans have it. Commissions are finally coming down hard on TRT and appear to be looking to stamp out the problem.

However, can they do it?

As fans know, simply banning a substance doesn’t mean that the desire or use of that substance has abated or gone away. Between fights, and out of reach of the commissions, fighters are –likely as not – going to be free to do as they please. As such, the ban is really only as good as the testing that supports it. Concordantly, if the commissions don’t have the authority to randomly test fighters between fights and regardless of their geographic locations, and a system in place to accomplish the task, inclusive of the funding required to accomplish the task, then the net result of the ban on TRT might not amount to much.


26 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Entity

    Entity

    March 6, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Why not? California bans everything except gay marriage.

  2. Profile photo of JTalbain

    JTalbain

    March 6, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    I have a feeling that this is eventually going to find its way to the Supreme Court. As testing and technology continues to improve, doctors are starting to take note of how widespread Low T really is and are increasingly prescribing TRT as a treatment for general lifestyle improvement. If they say they're trying to ensure the health and safety of the fighters, the on what basis do the State Commissions feel that their rules and regulations should trump a doctor's advice?

    Low testosterone doesn't just affect your muscles; your bone density goes down, leaving you at greater risk of injury. Additionally, your metabolism goes down, your risk of depression and some other illnesses increases, it can cause erectile dysfunction, etc. TRT is a relatively new treatment, but as awareness and public understanding of the treatment rises, then the black mark on MMA will instead be why they AREN'T allowing fighters to take a mainstream medical treatment with so many benefits when prescribed by a doctor.

    This is really just the State Athletics Commissions (and the UFC) taking the easy way out. Why pay for proper testing or dedicated medical staff specifically for monitoring TRT usage to make sure its used as specified when you could just ban it entirely and save the headache? If I were ANY profession and my doctor recommended a treatment that my employer decided to arbitrarily ban, leaving me to choose between the job and my health… that's not really a hard choice for me. I'd start looking another career path immediately, and I fully expect some fighters to do the same.

    • Profile photo of falcon4917

      falcon4917

      March 6, 2014 at 10:52 pm

      The reason some doctors are siding with it is it is an income for them, you think the health care systems just want to help? of course they want everyone to have it as they get older so they are "safer" from sustaining injuries, etc. Doctors used to prescribe cigarettes as part of a healthy lifestyle. There is big money to be had in promoting a youth drug.

    • Profile photo of Zip

      Zip

      March 6, 2014 at 11:42 pm

      JT, most folks have a working knowledge of what testosterone is and how it works. The medical community more so, which the commissions consult. You didn't mention the increased risk of stroke and heart attack associated with the use of TRT among other risk factors.

      But I will agree, the UFC took the easy way out. Didn't want to pay for testing.

      • Profile photo of Brian Cox

        Brian Cox

        March 7, 2014 at 12:14 am

        Zip, you're right on all of it. The last comment in particular…I think you hit the nail on the head. For the UFC or the commissions to go after this to truly enforce the ban, is going to cost money, that the UFC doesn't want to spend and that the commissions don't have.

        Zip…Flip…the nail over, and allow you to flatten it out on the other side, and in doing so, we realize that the UFC has profited greatly, while deriding TRT use as cheating, and, by deduction, Belfort a cheat – all while they made money off of his fights and promoted him and hyped him for a title shot (no pun intended) challenger.

        In a nutshell, my early rising friend, VB is the 'road-apple'…silly Brazilian fighter, who doesn't – understand the English, so much – that has been strung along and fed to the media and fans, as both hero and victim, in a game of musical TRT chair, all while the promotion has sat back and laughed at the debate, while profiting over Belfort's UFC record and carcass.

        I love the guy. And I will defend him. He is a family man, loving husband, devoted father, a believer in God, and an all round positive fellow. I can find no fault in his actions. He has acted in accordance to the rules and with the full knowledge of the UFC and the commissions that administered his fights. As such, no one can complain. Least of all the UFC.

        Has he failed in the past? Yes. So, have many others and he has paid his price. For what he did back in the mid=2000's is, for me and should be for all, done. Let him up of the proverbial canvass.

        Vitor is guilty of nothing, in this scenario.

        If Belfort is guilty of anything, then he's guilty of being a UFC puppet

        • Profile photo of Zip

          Zip

          March 7, 2014 at 1:40 am

          Good Lord how it pains me to disagree with you my friend, it really does. I disagree not about the UFC, they have all the money in the world to test for this, easy, as every other sport does, and actually do tests their athletes. I differ when it comes to Vitor. No way you somehow become the incredible hulk with super human strength and increased speed at his advanced fighting age. Science has simply caught up with him.

          I'm sure he's a good husband, family man, and and a believer in God. Problem is, he's also a user and sees it only as 'business'

          The UFC is guilty of all of it.

          • Profile photo of Brian Cox

            Brian Cox

            March 7, 2014 at 3:28 am

            Zip, my much respected and beloved friend.

            Do not pain to disagree with me. It is your God given and Constitutionally affirmed right. :-)

            How sad that it needs to be qualified as such, but alas, these are the times we live in.

            Regarding the MMA particulars, and let me play VB's online lawyer, because, honestly, he needs one, let me defend.

            Zip – my much respected and independent thinking friend – I must dispute your (my segmentation of your) assessment.

            Following:

            "No way you somehow become the incredible hulk with super human strength and increased speed at his advanced fighting age."

            Zip, I've seen no exhibition of any of it.

            I don't see "Hulkish" or super-human feats. I just see a guy with a dream and the drive to accomplish it.

            Perhaps VB's real TRT is his heart. His drive to never let go of a goal.

            Zip, we've all had our challenges and overcome. I know I have. I know Vitor most certainly hast, too. Perhaps you, yourself, have as well.

            As VB's defense is as likely to be an ongoing affair, my only regret of it would be – and regarding us debating the "what, economics, and duplicity of the subject" – that I cannot pursue my defense of Belfort over multiple orders of wings and beers.

            Of course, and as Belfort's lawyer, I would pick up the tab.

            You da man, Zip.

            Love ya, man. What is mine is yours.

          • Profile photo of falcon4917

            falcon4917

            March 7, 2014 at 8:52 am

            Brian I agree with Zip, but that was priceless.lol. You are good.

          • Profile photo of Entity

            Entity

            March 7, 2014 at 5:47 pm

            I've always said "You can just about anything too someone if you say it right"….other times we just don't care how it comes out 8P

    • Profile photo of Brian Cox

      Brian Cox

      March 6, 2014 at 11:45 pm

      Damn, JTalbain! – that is such a forward thinking observation.

      "I have a feeling that this is eventually going to find its way to the Supreme Court."

      JT – You could have stopped right there, dude.

      Props. If it happens, you're the book that called it.

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