Dana White’s Latest Stance on TRT Shows UFC Will Never Fully Enforce Random Drug Testing

Written by Tom Ngo
May 23rd, 2014

UFC Middleweight Vitor Belfort

Dana White has said some outrageous things during his 13-year tenure as UFC president, but what came out of his mouth regarding testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) during Thursday’s UFC 173 pre-fight media scrum takes the cake.

The cheater’s handbook for TRT suggests athletes are manipulating the regimen while preparing for a fight. They will jack up their testosterone levels beyond normal ranges in order to push their bodies to its outermost limit. As showtime steadily approaches, they will then taper off the treatment to get their testosterone back to a natural level – therefore, no flunked drug tests.

White previously agreed this was likely the strategy most, if not all, his fighters who were prescribed the controversial treatment were executing. Fast forward three months after the Nevada State Athletic Commission voted unanimous decision to ban TRT, and White now claims it’s perfectly fine to have excessively high levels of testosterone as long as you’re not gearing up to fight.

Shut up. No he didn’t. Um, yeah. He did…

White was asked if the results from the random drug test the NSAC sprung on Vitor Belfort (pictured) at the MMA Awards was the reason Belfort is still not licensed by the committee.

Because Belfort was not licensed to fight in Nevada at the time of February’s pop quiz, the results from the exam will most likely never be made public.

That’s fine, because White claims the results are completely “irrelevant.”

“Absolutely. It’s absolutely irrelevant, because I’m telling you right now, we tested the s*** out of him before every fight he fought,” White stated. “Let’s say he came into Nevada and his [testosterone] levels were off the charts. He wasn’t fighting. He came in here to talk about getting licensed. And their thing was, ‘Welcome to Nevada. You want to be licensed here, you have to stop taking TRT.’

“As a guy who’s not fighting, you can go around and do whatever the hell you want with TRT.”

Sure, Belfort wasn’t fighting that very second when the NSAC requested his urine on February 7. However, he was prepping to challenge middleweight champion Chris Weidman for his throne at UFC 173 – a bout White’s company officially announced six days prior to the MMA Awards, then scrapped 10 hours after the NSAC banned TRT.

If that is White’s view on TRT abuse when a fighter is out of competition, isn’t it essentially the same stance he’s taking with any performance-enhancing drug while out of competition?

If this were the NFL, would White’s take be: ‘I don’t care what your testosterone levels are Monday through Saturday, but you better be within legal limits when we test the s*** out of you before and after Sunday’s game. You can go back to whatever testosterone levels you want on Monday, but just make sure you’re ready when we test the s*** out of you again next Sunday’?

White has teeter-tottered on the legitimacy of TRT since Chael Sonnen put the medically prescribed regimen on the map after losing to Anderson Silva at UFC 117 in August 2010. However, White’s latest take on TRT makes you wonder if the UFC will ever genuinely look into enforcing random, out-of-competition drug testing – the screening most pundits believe will best weed out the cheaters.

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