Opinion: The Growth of TRT in MMA
By Michael Hatamoto
Following UFC 148 earlier in the month, it was discovered that Forrest Griffin is the latest fighter to enjoy the legal benefits of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
Tito Ortiz, Griffin’s opponent for the fight, has been extremely vocal against the news that Griffin received a TRT therapeutic use exemption (TUE) from the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Ortiz accused Griffin of cheating, while the Las Vegas-based fighter has remained silent about Ortiz’s very public statements.
I find it fascinating how the talk surrounding TRT has effectively split MMA fans into two sides; those supporting the use of TRT, and the vocal critics that believe it is cheating. The argument for TRT says that it can be used fairly if monitored, but that seems unlikely if athletes can have elevated testosterone levels while training.
I think the UFC and state athletic commissions need to suck it up and begin cracking down on TRT — and PED use in general. The average man should have a 1:1 testosterone to epitestosterone ratio, but normal variances could lead to a slight elevation in that ratio – which is why athletic commissions and sanctioning bodies offer some wiggle room.
The state of Nevada already allows a rather lenient 6:1 T:E ratio, with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) only allowing a 4:1 T:E ratio. All WADA-accredited laboratories assign a 4:1 T:E ratio, and only a handful still test at the 6:1 previous ratio.
In the past, WADA allowed a 6:1 ratio, but changed it down to 4:1 because athletes were able to use steroids while successfully evading detection.
The debate surrounding TRT clearly isn’t going any way soon and it’s a topic MMA fans should get used to hearing about.
Full Contact Fighter is going to publish an in-depth interview with the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), in which we discuss anti-doping measures and the growth of VADA testing.