Few dispute that there are legitimate circumstances in which a Therapeutic Use Exemption for Testosterone Replacement Therapy is appropriate. Legitimate cases are however exceedingly rare. For example, MLB has issued six TUEs, over the past six seasons. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency which covers 1000s of athletes, issued one TUE in 2013. At the 2012 London Olympics, the International Olympic Committee issued none.
Due to abuse of TRT, the highly influential Nevada State Athletic Commission has moved to abolish TUEs. Brazil's AC followed suit within 24 hours. Other commissions may well follow.
However, the New Jersey State Athletic Commission, which has an impeccable reputation, is not ready to ban TRT yet, and will continue to follow the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) guidelines, which are in turn based on the International Olympic Committee standards.
The California State Athletic Commission under the direction of Executive Director Andy Foster is likewise not planning any changes. California will continue their current policy on TUEs, which is based on those set by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
And the Federally mandated Association of Boxing Commissions under the direction of president Tim Lueckenhoff, plans to review the NSAC stand, but does not plan any changes at this time.
Counsel for the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board Nick Lembo issued a statement to MMAFighting.
Since January 1, 2008, NJ has had 4,930 MMA contestants compete in agency regulated bouts.
The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board has only granted one initial TRT therapeutic use exemption of those 4.930 MMA contestants. That one exemption was subsequently revoked when that individual failed an agency required random monitoring test several months subsequent to his NJ bout contest date.
The NJSACB has also honored exemptions to two of the 4,930 MMA contestants based on exemptions originally granted in multiple other jurisdictions and after additional testing and board certified endocrinologist documentation was supplied.
The NJSACB has refused TRT exemptions to over a dozen applicant contestants..
In addition, the NJSACB has never granted a TUE for TRT to any of the multitude of professional boxers, Thai fighters or kick boxers subject to its purview.
At this juncture, the NJSACB will continue to adhere to the very strict International Olympic Committee therapeutic use exemption standards.
Based on the IOC poilcy, the ABC medical committee set forth and published extremely rigorous guidelines for the consideration and granting of TUE's during its presentation to the ABC membership at the July 2011 annual convention.
That being said, we will consider Nevada's decision today and look forward to discussing how to handle the rare candidate who indeed has a true legitimate medical reason for usage. As examples, an individual returning from military duty who has suffered testicular malfunction from an IED explosion, those with pituitary giantism, testicular cancer survivors, and transgender contestants.
We hope that all MMA contestants are subject to repetitive and efficient drug testing protocols without regard to whether a TUE for TRT is at issue. I think we can all agree, regardless of positions on TUE's, that performance enhancing drug testing needs to be analyzed, implemented and continually improved.
As a reference point, I have attached the current NJ TRT TUE consideration requirements which mirror the ABC medical committee guidelines.
ABC president Tim Lueckenhoff spoke with MMA Junkie.
“I 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,” said Lueckenhoff. “I will also ask our legal committee to counsel us about the legal ramifications, if any, from an outright ban without exception for any reason.”
Lueckenhof?f noted that an outright ban would go against extreme cases such as one in the Olympics in which a man with no testicles was granted a TUE for TRT. He noted that the ABC’s current protocol for exemptions is “extremely tough” and allow exemptions “in only the rarest of cases to a very select group of contestants who have a specified legitimate medical need.”
“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 matte."
MMA gear now available at the UG Store