- The Association of Ringside Physicians recently issued a statement regarding therapeutic use exemptions for testosterone replacement therapy in combat sports. The ARP concluded that TRT is an unjustified risk to the health and safety of combatants, violates the integrity of combat sports and should be banned. In a recent story from The Associated Press, UFC president Dana White backed the doctors' recommendation.
"The doctors came out and said they want to ban it? Well, that's the answer," he said. "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."
White explained that he thinks TRT is unfair and claimed that the UFC has been administering extra testing to athletes undergoing TRT in an effort to stem its use - in particular, he name-checked Vitor Belfort, who has been at the center of the TRT controversy.
"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 s*** out of him (during training). And we have, and he has complied, and he has been within the limits he's supposed to have."
"We couldn't be more proactive," he continued. "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."
- The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board recently revealed that heavyweight Frank Mir has been granted a TUE for TRT ahead of his bout UFC 169 bout with former TRT posterboy Alistair Overeem this weekend. The NJSACB stated that Mir would be subject to a variety of testing to monitor his testosterone levels before, during and after the fight.
In other TRT news, Vitor Belfort is already generating TUE-related headlines ahead of his planned summer bout against Chris Weidman. With the bout likely to take place in Las Vegas, it will be Belfort's first in the United States since 2011 and his first outside of Brazil in three fights. Due to his past steroid usage, a physician for the Nevada State Athletic Commission recently told ESPN that he would be adamantly advising the NSAC against allowing Belfort a TUE. Though NSAC chairman Francisco Aguilar has said that he and his fellow commissioners would hear Belfort's application with an open mind, there's no doubt that this will only generate more controversy as the fight draws nearer.
- UFC heavyweight Pat Barry was granted his request to be released from the UFC. After suffering two losses in a row, the 34-year-old is taking an indefinite leave to return to his kickboxing roots:
Over the past few fights I've just had this sinking feeling in my stomach whenever I have stepped into the Octagon and I realize, I DONT WANT TO WRESTLE. Not saying I will never do MMA again, but right now I just want to hit people. MMA and the UFC have been great to me and I will always support the company and the sport. I want to thank all my fans, sponsors and haters for being with me on this journey and I look forward to what future holds.
After knocking out the late Shane del Rosario in 2012, Barry was knocked out twice in a row by Shawn Jordan and Soa Palalei, respectively. He has been a UFC heavyweight since 2008.
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