What's buzzing:

ESPN Highlights Disproportionate TRT Exemptions for MMA vs. Other Sports; Will Change Follow?

MMAWeekly.com
Chris Weidman Wants to Fight Vitor Belfort Next; UFC President Dana White Wants to Let Him
.

View photo

Chris Weidman Wants to Fight Vitor Belfort Next; UFC President Dana White Wants to Let Him

Testosterone replacement therapy and the debate over its use in professional athletics has been one of the hottest topics in the discussion about sports performance.

It is a hot-button in MMA in particular with notable fighters such as Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Dan Henderson, Frank Mir, and others regularly being granted therapeutic use exemptions to enlist the assistance of TRT.

ESPN's Outside the Lines (watch the video hererecently shifted its gaze onto TRT use in mixed martial arts, focusing its white-hot spotlight primarily on Belfort, whose recent career resurgence, which has co-incided with his TRT use, has made him a lightening rod for criticism. Beyond Belfort, however, ESPN's Mike Fish focused on the disproportionate allowance of TRT in mixed martial arts compared to most other sports.

Of particular note, Fish pointed out that not a single athlete in the summer Olympics in London in 2012 received a TRT exemption, and that the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which oversees thousands of athletes, issued but a single exemption in 2013.

Outside the Lines confirmed that mixed martial arts, by comparison, has had at least 15 athletes over the past five years that have been issued exemptions for the use of TRT. Six Major League Basebell players have received exemptions in the past six seasons, while no professional boxer is known to have received an exemption from the athletic commissions that oversee combat sports.

The Outside the Lines piece certainly casts light on some damning facts about TRT usage in mixed martial arts, although there is no clear end in sight to the debate on whether or not TRT usage is purely medicinal or if it is definitively performance enhancing.

The Association of Ringside Physicians recently issued a statement calling for an end to TUEs for TRT.

“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,” read the statement. “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.”

The Association's statement has rippled through the mixed martial arts world, but has yet to produce any tangible results. The Nevada State Athletic Commission, which is one of the leading commissions to oversee combat sports in the United States, is however slated to discuss and possibly take action on its current policy on therapeutic use exemptions for testosterone replacement therapy at a commission meeting on Thursday.

With Vitor Belfort currently slated to challenge UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman in an event slated for May 24 in Las Vegas, the NSAC's discussion on the topic on Thursday, depending upon the outcome, could be a tipping in the conversation leading to action.

Follow MMAWeekly.com on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

View Comments (24)
  • Indians rough up Danny Duffy, roll to 10-3 win over Royals

    Indians rough up Danny Duffy, roll to 10-3 win over Royals

    Just about everyone in the Cleveland lineup drove in a run, Carlos Carrasco tossed seven sharp innings and the Indians rolled to a 10-3 win over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night. Brandon Moss homered and added a two-run double to lead the … More »

    AP - Sports - 4 minutes 23 seconds ago
  • NFL finds Patriots employees probably deflated balls

    NFL finds Patriots employees probably deflated balls

    The 243-page report on ''Deflategate'' came out Wednesday and stopped barely short of calling the Patriots star quarterback a cheater. It did, however, call some of his claims ''implausible'' and left little doubt that he had a role in having … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago
  • Rosario homers in debut in Twins' 13-0 win over A's

    Rosario homers in debut in Twins' 13-0 win over A's

    Eddie Rosario homered on the first pitch he saw in his major league career, Eduardo Escobar also homered and had five RBIs and the Minnesota Twins beat the Oakland Athletics 13-0 on Wednesday night. Rosario's milestone homer traveled about 400 feet … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago
  • Diamondbacks earn 1st DH sweep on road since 2006

    Diamondbacks earn 1st DH sweep on road since 2006

    Robbie Ray allowed just one run in a park notorious for chewing up young pitchers. Paul Goldschmidt homered and Ray threw six efficient innings in a spot start, helping the Arizona Diamondbacks complete their first doubleheader road sweep since … More »

    AP - Sports - 7 minutes ago
  • Buehrle gets 1st win vs. Yanks since '04

    Buehrle gets 1st win vs. Yanks since '04

    At Yankee Stadium that day, Chicago White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle earned his first career win over the New York Yankees. More than 11 years later, Buehrle finally beat them again. Russell Martin homered, Buehrle snapped a two-start losing … More »

    AP - Sports - 8 minutes ago