ESPN story says TUE rate in MMA far higher than other sports.


The Association of Ringside Physicians' recently TRT/" style="line-height: 1.6em;" target="_blank">called for the elimination of testosterone replacement therapy in mixed martial arts. Further, UFC President Dana White said he was "thrilled" by the ABC call, and noted that government athletic commissions should close the TRT loophole permanently. And ZUFFA CEO Lorenzo Fertitta recently announced UFC financial support of thorough drug testing.

In short, Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) for Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) are on their way out of mixed martial arts.

That change may be hastened by an investigation by's Mike Fish, revealing that TUEs are being granted by State Athletic Commissions at a far higher rate than they are by other international regulating bodies.


In the past five years, at least 15 mixed martial artists have been issued exemptions to use testosterone, the vast majority revealed or confirmed through public records requests filed by "Outside the Lines" with the major state commissions or athletic bodies overseeing the sport. The sport itself has had more than 20,000 pro fighters over the past five years, according to record keeper, although fewer than 1,800 MMA combatants are under contract to the sport's dominant promoters -- Zuffa (UFC) and Bellator, which account for 11 of the fighters on TRT. Although only a small fraction, the number of exemptions still dwarfs what can be found in other sports:
• The International Olympic Committee did not issue a single testosterone exemption for the 2012 London Olympics, which featured 5,892 male athletes.
• The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency issued one testosterone exemption last year among the thousands of elite-level athletes under its jurisdiction.
• Major League Baseball has issued six exemptions to athletes over the past six seasons -- an average of 1,200 players populate its rosters each season.
• National Football League officials say testosterone exemptions are "very rare" and only a "handful" have been issued since 1990. Nearly 2,000 players circulate through rosters each season.
• No pro boxer is known to have had an exemption issued through a state athletic commission, and Nevada officials said they have never even received an application.

"It's a huge number," said Dr. Don Catlin, the country's leading anti-doping expert, of the MMA testosterone exemptions. "I am on the IOC committee that reviews [therapeutic-use exemptions for testosterone] requests. We essentially grant none. But in boxing and MMA there is no central control. There is no set of rules that everybody has to follow.

"There is a set of rules for each [state athletic commission], but they are kind of Mickey Mouse rules. So the route to being able to take testosterone is wide open. ... You go in and say 'I have these symptoms.' The doc says, 'Oh yeah, you got low testosterone.' You get a TUE."

U.S. and international anti-doping agencies insist therapeutic-use exemptions for testosterone should be rare and permitted only in dire medical cases such as testicular cancer and Hodgkin's disease, as is the norm in most major sports. The international standard for an exemption specifically states that "low-normal" levels of a hormone isn't justification for granting approval, also noting the same of isolated symptoms such as fatigue, slow recovery from exercise and decreased libido.

Read entire article...

However, the piece has some bad math. Leading endocrinologist and University of Michigan professor of internal medicine, Dr. Richard Auchus, is quoted as saying the incidence of low testosterone (or hypogonadism) in healthy 30-year-olds is well less than 0.1%. However, with 20,000 fighters having been registered, a .1% would translate to 20 fighters. And the actual number of TUEs issued to date? 15, a number well under 20.

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Recent Comments »

GSPsShadyHandWraps site profile image  

2/28/14 5:36 AM by GSPsShadyHandWraps

"On the plus side, this means you all can quit your ENDLESS fucking whining about Vitor, right? Because now he and the other guys on TRT won't be able to "cheat" anymore, and will be clean like the fighters with no TUEs."But you were the one saying how much easier it was passing tests without a TUE, so why did he dicktuck and run away from the fight? According to your expert knowledge on the subject, he should be passing those tests in his sleep

The Ghost of REED ROTHCHILD site profile image  

2/28/14 2:31 AM by The Ghost of REED ROTHCHILD

Fuck you ESPN

rkm456 site profile image  

2/28/14 2:20 AM by rkm456

You know, I was going to respond to this desperate attempt at.. whatever that is supposed to be, but with today's developments, it kind of becomes irrelevant.

SmackyBear site profile image  

2/27/14 11:08 PM by SmackyBear

I know I'm the one who asked, but I wasn't asking because I think it's complete BS or anything. I've read anecdotal evidence, but that's not really scientific, though MMA journalists don't seem to mind using it to show weight cutting causes hypogonadism.I mean, weight cutting absolutely reduces testosterone production in the short term. Plus other conditions of sudden near starvation diets can cause hypogonadism. So it's not impossible that weight cutting over many years could do enough cumulative damage that the body may not just bounce back.But those known conditions, like anorexia or sudden weight loss from gastric bypass surgery, would take place over a long, uninterrupted period of time as opposed to MMA style weight cutting, which would be more sporadic. Wrestlers though have to make weight a great many times during their career, and most mixed martial artists who were wrestlers would have been wrestling for a decade or more as amateurs. So I'd like to see if there is any research about weight cutting wrestlers hormones as adults. So far, I haven't seen any.

FETT_GayFerPayNINJA site profile image  

2/27/14 5:33 PM by FETT_GayFerPayNINJA

I don't care that TRT was banned, despite spending the better part of two hours a day writing 4000 word essays defending its use...   lol. On the plus side you can quit your EDLESS defense of cheaters and a corrupt loophole joke of a system that allows athletes to use steroids.   Aside from the group of doctors who spoke out against the doctor on the NSAC spoke out against its abuse, but of course, Orcus knows better and all these doctors must be

orcus site profile image  

2/27/14 4:22 PM by orcus

Remind me why I would have a problem with this? I think PEDs should be legal, but I don't get upset that they're banned. I think TRT should be legal, but I'm not upset that they banned it. My problem was with you whiners, and with the ACs trying to guess why someone would need it. This is an across-the-board ban, so whatever. I hope they ban insulin for diabetics next!On the plus side, this means you all can quit your ENDLESS fucking whining about Vitor, right? Because now he and the other guys on TRT won't be able to "cheat" anymore, and will be clean like the fighters with no TUEs....right?

FETT_GayFerPayNINJA site profile image  

2/27/14 4:07 PM by FETT_GayFerPayNINJA

The UFC has now BANNED TRT....   Where you at ORCUS?

FETT_GayFerPayNINJA site profile image  

2/27/14 3:28 PM by FETT_GayFerPayNINJA

      Oops. Not any more pal.        

FETT_GayFerPayNINJA site profile image  

2/27/14 3:25 PM by FETT_GayFerPayNINJA

Are you okay Orcus? Do we need to call someone for you?   Looks like all the cheaters you support will have to avoid Nevada like the plague...or find other ways to roid up.

orcus site profile image  

2/27/14 2:51 PM by orcus

"Diabetics shouldn't get exemptions."I think most people would disagree with you. Even those who should agree with you on the same grounds that they think TRT is bad."The whole premise of sports is survival of the fittest."No, it's competition and entertainment."If you need chemical help, natural selection has already weeded you out."If you need to train and workout, natural selection has already weeded you out. You need unnatural tricks like "armbars" to beat your opponent. Otherwise he would just gorilla smash you. Why do you need to do 5 sets of 5 reps of squats every week to get strong? Why aren't you naturally strong?


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