In a landmark moment, the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) have declared that fighters will no longer be granted Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE’s) for Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) in combat sports.
Reacting to the news, the UFC then declared that they would be introducing the same policy world-wide where they serve as the governing body – including the likes of the UK, Japan, Abu Dhabi and China.
TUE’s, which were only granted by a fighter medically proving that they had abnormally low levels of testosterone, enabling them to use TRT to increase them back to ‘normal’ levels, have always been a controversial subject since they were introduced.
Critics say that it’s a process that’s open to abuse and cheating, and as such, Thursday’s ruling will be celebrated by many, and UFC President Dana White, who has stated in the past that he’s against TRT use, claimed to be amongst them last night.
“[I’m] pumped!” White told MMAfighting by way of a text message. “Couldn’t wait for that garbage to go away.”
On the other hand, it now leaves a number of fighters who’ve up until this point been legally using TRT via a TUE, in an awkward spot, as once you are on TRT then you are essentially locked into it for life.
Amongst those who had been using TRT legally include stars like Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Dan Henderson and Frank Mir.
It should however be stressed that this doesn’t neccessarily mean a complete end to TUE’s being granted in the UFC as the UFC can only apply the ruling in regions where they serve as the governing body. That means that other regions such as Brazil for example, which have their own fight commission, may stick with their own rule set.
The hope is that the NSAC and UFC’s decision will lead to a snowball effect with other commissions around the globe following suit.