Move over Human Growth Hormones, because it appears the next generation of performance-enhancers is gaining momentum. While HGH might be the prominent drug of choice for Major League Baseball players, the hottest crave to hit the mixed martial arts market is Testosterone Replacement Therapy.
Former UFC star Nate Marquardt was the most recent fighter to use the controversial treatment as his excuse for triggering a failed drug test. Prior to the 32-year-old’s confession, UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen was busted for having high levels of testosterone in his system.
Although the drama took Sonnen nearly a year to clear up, he too fingered TRT for his flunked exam.
Sonnen was granted a second chance from the world’s premier MMA promotion, while Marquardt was fired on the spot after failing his second drug screening under the UFC’s watch.
“I think we came off with a pretty strong response to Nate Marquardt, and kind of how we feel about TRT,” UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta told ESPNRadio in Las Vegas (transcribed by Yahoo). “Our stance is we’re working with commissions to say ‘Look, this whole thing has got to come to an end.’
“If you are going to have some kind of therapy, not only can you not be at the top end of the range, you can’t be anywhere near performance-enhancing.”
While Fertitta won’t deny TRT benefits many ailing people across the globe, he just wants to ensure his athletes haven’t discovered a way to circumvent the system. It appears Dana White’s boss already has a thorough understanding of the loophole.
“What you can’t have are guys abusing this to the point where their levels are at some super-human factor, giving them this performance enhancement,” Fertitta expressed.
“It seems like, possibly, guys are getting outside the boundary while they’re training and managing it down where once the week of the fight [has arrived], they take the test and they’re fine. I think that there needs to be this random testing to make sure no one’s abusing it.”
As it currently stands, mixed martial artists are only required to submit drug tests before and after their fights. Depending upon which state is governing the show, most of a card’s athletes never get screened.
Starting this month, the Nevada State Athletic Commission was placed in a position to randomly drug test licensed fighters who are out-of-competition.