It’s been heavily rumored over the past few months that Vitor Belfort failed a random drug test administered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission back in February, but up until this point he had repeatedly attempted to avoid confirming it one way or another.

However, now that Belfort’s test results are about to be made public as he seeks to get licensed by the NSAC to fight Chael Sonnen on the main card of UFC 175 on July 5th, he’s finally decided to come clean in a statement which you can read in full below.

“In anticipation for my hearing before the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), I want to address questions concerning a drug test I took back on February 7, 2014, that was requested by the NSAC.

At the time that test was taken, I was considering filing for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) from the NSAC. While I had not made formal application for a TUE, the NSAC nonetheless requested I take the test and I willingly complied. I further confirmed to the NSAC, in writing, the widely known fact that I was then presently on TRT and had been for many years leading up to that test and that I had further taken the TRT dosage recommended by my doctors the day prior.

The results of the February 7, 2014, test indicated that my testosterone level was above the therapeutic range. While levels slightly outside the normal therapeutic range are not uncommon for some undergoing a TRT regimen, and my doctors immediately modified my therapy to return me to within the therapeutic range (as you can see the 22nd February test results was normal), I do want to acknowledge that the February 7, 2014 test indicated my level was above the range.

Since that February 7, 2014 test, I have taken several subsequent tests, in late February, March, April and May, and the results of each test indicate my levels were either normal or below normal. To avoid any ambiguity, I am releasing, along with this statement, the results off all the test noted above and will provide the same to NSAC for their consideration as part of my licensing application. I further welcome any additional testing that the NSAC deem appropriate and necessary with respect to being granted the privilege of a license to fight here in the State of Nevada.

Shortly thereafter, on February 27, 2014, the NSAC banned all TRT and I stopped my TRT treatment that very same day. Now that I am applying for a license in Nevada, I don’t want any clouds hanging over my ability to compete and I understand it is my responsibility to prove to the NSAC that I have the requisite to be licensed in Nevada.

I truly appreciate and thank the Commission for considering my application, and I look forward to providing any information and answering any questions that the NSAC might have on June 17. And if the NSAC sees fit to grant my application, I look forward to fighting on July 5, 2014 in Las Vegas and again proving that I am one of the best fighters in the world.”

Some people may be confused by the fact that Belfort wasn’t punished for the failed drugs test. The reason for that is that when the testing took place Belfort hadn’t yet applied for a license to fight in the state, and he hadn’t applied for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for his next fight.

So, he dodged a bullet in that regard because the drug test showed that his testosterone levels were well above the limit.

Despite not being punished the failed test is certain to be brought up during Belfort’s license application meeting on June 17th and it’s uncertain at this time whether they’ll grant him the opportunity to fight or not.

The fact that each month since his original test he has shown to be well within the legal limit for testosterone (he’s now below normal levels as a result of coming off TRT treatment due to the fact that not long after his initial test TUE’s were banned by NSAC) is likely to be used by Belfort to strengthen his case that he’s now ‘clean’ and should be granted his license to fight.

Assuming he can get that license, and the UFC must have some confidence that he will given that they’ve already announced the fight between Belfort and Sonnen, then the big question will be how much his performance will be affected by the fact that he’ll now be competing with sub-normal testosterone levels.

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Over the years I've watched the UFC develop into the powerhouse it is today, organizations like PRIDE, Strikeforce and WEC rise and fall, and Bellator emerge as a new force on the MMA landscape. Throughout it all I've remained captivated by the sport and I'm excited to cover what comes next here on MMA Insight.