After his retirement fight against Forrest Griffin, UFC hall-of-famer Tito Ortiz was angered to find out that the man who had just beaten him had in fact been given an exemption to legally use Testosterone Replacement Therapy in the weeks leading up to the fight.
Griffin is the latest in a rapidly growing list of big name fighters including the likes of Dan Henderson, Frank Mir and Chael Sonnen, who are now using the controversial treatment, and Ortiz took the opportunity to speak out against it during an interview on Inside MMA.
“I hope this doesn’t become an epidemic,” Ortiz said. “What type of message are we trying to send to the youths that are watching our sport? This is the same thing we’ve been trying to stop from happening. All of a sudden, in the last six months, it’s legal to do?
“Let’s play on an even field. Since day one that I’ve been competing over the last 15 years I’ve always been on an even field. Why, all of a sudden, can a fighter be higher, six times the amount of an average person?”
It definitely does seem as if the sport is heading into murky waters with these ‘Therapeutic Use Exemptions’ prescribed by fighter’s doctors and Ortiz is right to highlight the fact that this could be sending the wrong message to the younger generation.
The risk is that up and coming fighters may now also feel the need to take TRT, legally or otherwise, in an attempt to level the playing field, or simply to emulate their heroes.
Watch Ortiz talking about the subject below.