NSAC Bans Fighters From Using TRT

The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), in a landmark decision, has unanimously approved a motion to ban the practice of awarding fighters a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) in the state of Nevada for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). The decision comes in the wake of an ESPN story that covered how high testosterone replacement therapy exemptions are in the MMA world.

This ban on TRT is effective immediately and stretches across the realms of mixed martial arts, boxing, and kickboxing. It includes users who have received TUEs for TRT from the Nevada State Athletic Commission in the past and future applicants for TRT. The NSAC officials urged representatives from fellow athletic commissions to put a similar ban in their states by banning TRT exemptions in their corresponding states.

NSAC Chairman Francisco Aguilar said he is comfortable with the information we have before us, and I would welcome and encourage the ABC (Association of Boxing Commissions) to look at this issue for all commissions in all states across the country. He further added that he believes it is important that there be a standard set, and he thinks we’re not afraid of making that standard known, and then following the discussion after this point in time. Aguilar added he do believe that this is something that gives people an unfair advantage for these actual benefits and said he thinks that it’s unfair for those fighters who are lucky enough to not have to go through the process. Aguilar added it is not fair to them when they have to meet a competitor, who is, somehow, could be (using) an advantage.

The UFC, minutes after the decision of NSAC, made an announcement that it will also ban TRT exemptions moving forward. Dana White tweeted that it is a great day in the sport and he applauded NSAC. The UFC President remarked TRT needed to go away. In an official statement, the UFC said the Ultimate Fighting Championship fully supports the decision made today by the Nevada State Athletic Commission regarding the immediate termination of therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). The statement reads we believe our athletes should compete based on their natural abilities and on an even playing field. We also intend to honor this ruling in international markets where, due to a lack of governing bodies, the UFC oversees regulatory efforts for our live events and we encourage all athletic commissions to adopt this ruling. After the UFC announcement, Vitor Belfort has withdrawn from UFC 173 and now Lyoto Machida will fight UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman on the upcoming pay-per-view card, which takes place May 24.

Dr. Don Catlin, a leading anti-doping expert of the MMA testosterone exemptions, said he is on the IOC committee that reviews [therapeutic-use exemptions for testosterone] requests. Catlin said we essentially grant none but in boxing and MMA there is no central control and there is no set of rules that everybody has to follow. Therapeutic-use exemptions for testosterone should be rare, according to U.S. and international anti-doping agencies. They believe such exemptions should be permitted only in dire medical cases such as testicular cancer and Hodgkin’s disease.

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