Total Ban On TRT Announced By California Commission

The California State Athletic Commission has announced a total ban on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). This move was announced by Commission officials, a week after the Nevada State Athletic Commission issued a ban on TRT and urged other regulatory bodies to follow suit to ban Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE).

The NSAC recently became the first commission to outright ban TUEs for testosterone replacement therapy.

The move by Nevada also prompted the UFC-backed Comissao Atletica Brasileira de MMA (CABMMA), Brazil’s regulatory body, to ban exemptions for testosterone replacement therapy. CABMMA however allowed Dan Henderson (29-11 MMA, 6-5 UFC) to use the hormone for his fight with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua on March 23 at UFC Fight Night 38. Ironically, Henderson was the first MMA fighter to receive a TUE for testosterone replacement therapy in Nevada and he is the last in Brazil.

In another development, New Jersey counsel Nick Lembo said the commission will look at Nevada’s decision but would not be making any immediate changes.

According to a statement by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC), it will soon require World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) standards to receive a testosterone replacement therapy exemption and no therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) will be granted in the state of California until those rules are enacted. In the statement, CSAC Executive Officer Andy Foster said the California State Athletic Commission fully supports the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s decision to eliminate Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE) for Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) in boxing and mixed martial arts. Foster added that California is a strong supporter of anti-doping efforts and as part of California’s anti-doping efforts, the Commission recently began the rulemaking process to require meeting World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) standards as the only way to obtain a TUE for TRT.

The California State Athletic Commission Executive Officer also said this standard is so high that it is an effective ban except under the most extreme circumstances and remarked that until the rulemaking process is complete and the regulations are fully adopted, the Commission has a total ban on TRT. California remains committed to protecting the health and safety of athletes and having strict anti-doping standards is one of the ways this is accomplished.

Meanwhile, President of the Association of Boxing Commissions has recommended that member commissions follow current protocols for testosterone replacement therapy exemptions. Tim Lueckenhoff said he will ask the medical committee to consider and review Nevada’s new position on the matter which is a strong deviation from their past practice. Lueckenhoff added he will also ask our legal committee to counsel us about the legal ramifications, if any, from an outright ban without exception for any reason.  Lueckenhoff also remarked that we are always interested in the subject of PED usage and proper testing and are pleased that Nevada’s action is igniting a healthy debate on the subject matter.

In 2011, the Association of Boxing Commissions crafted guidelines for testosterone replacement therapy exemptions as part of its Handbook of Ringside Medicine. New Jersey chief ringside physician and ABC medical committee director Dr. Sherry Wulkan were at the forefront of crafting the policy.

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