Sonnen: Life without TRT is completely horrible


While Vitor Belfort is the poster child for Testosterone Replacement Therapy, he is far from the only prominent fighter who has received a Therapeutic Use Exemption for it. Other figures on the list include Todd Duffee, Forrest Griffin, Dan Henderson, Quinton Jackson, Nate Marquardt, Frank Mir, Shane Roller, and Chael Sonnen.

After Belfort, the most high profile fighter on the list, is Chael Sonnen. Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole talked about the NSAC TRT ban with Sonnen.

Sonnen conceded he'll be in a quandary if he is forced to compete without his medication.

"It puts me in a spot, because medically, I do need testosterone," Sonnen said. "I have to look at this carefully, but they made no bones about it: It's out. We all have to deal with that, whether we like it or not."

Sonnen said he wouldn't wish his symptoms when he is off his medication on anyone.

"The best way to describe is that it is a completely terrible, horrible feeling," Sonnen said. "This is a medicine and it's medicine I need to live normally on a day-to-day basis. People say it is a performance enhancer, and there are a lot of things guys can take to enhance performance. But testosterone is more than a performance enhancer for me. It is a life enhancer.

"My life is better. My attitude is better. I have more energy. I need less sleep. It makes me feel better in many different regards. It makes me a better husband and a better neighbor and a better pet owner. I understand the abuse, but this is a medicine that helps people with a problem."

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tags: UFC   PED   Chael Sonnen (detail)  


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Recent Comments »

HexRei site profile image  

3/6/14 6:11 PM by HexRei

I think he just misspoke. He meant to say he never abused steroids and that his hypogonadism isn't due to steroid abuse.

MrHughes1991 site profile image  

3/6/14 6:06 PM by MrHughes1991

What I thought of: please?

jpm995 site profile image  

3/6/14 6:02 PM by jpm995

Question for the medical experts. Random testing will catch most cheats, but what if you just took enough steriods to keep you at the "normal" high end [i think 900 was mentioned on here]. Could you pass the tests and would it be enough to give you a measureable boost?

jpm995 site profile image  

3/6/14 5:47 PM by jpm995

I think you got it wrong xrated said hes been on trt for years but never touched a steriod. Clearly hes wrong and was called on it. Calling him a roider sucks but is technically correct.

big_josh site profile image  

3/6/14 3:39 PM by big_josh

....... juicing is not the only possible reason someone could have low T.... good God why don't you take a minute to at least learn a bit more about what you're talking about. I'm surprised to see you agree that the way he feels is not normal.   Low t could be the result of several different things like these: trama to the testis (A very possible thing in MMA) severe emotional stress morbid obesity overtraining crohns disease malnutrition or nutritional defficiency medications, opiods, androgens, (previous steroid use yes) etc... constitutional delayed puberty  (Chael said he struggled to hit puberty as a kid) hypogonadism excess alcohol

GSPsShadyHandWraps site profile image  

3/6/14 3:26 PM by GSPsShadyHandWraps

Then you are fighting windmills. Nowhere did i state that its bad to treat someone that suffers from hypogonadism but its ok to repair a neck and send them back out to fight

sagemma site profile image  

3/6/14 3:21 PM by sagemma

He must of hit the juice pretty hard at one point, at his age having low testosterone to the point that you are "sick" is not normal

orcus site profile image  

3/6/14 3:18 PM by orcus

"You are basically trying to exclude the brain trauma part of the argument because you are so obsessed about the TRT part"I'm excluding the brain trauma part because it's an entirely separate issue. They should test for it for all fighters and not license those with signs of it.

big_josh site profile image  

3/6/14 3:15 PM by big_josh

It is not impossible, I think you're missing the point. TRT is designed to get your testosterone level to a normal range. You can be tired, fatigued, depressed and all those other things for several reasons, one possible reason could be low T. If you get a blood test that shows you have low T, then possibly that is the cause. So if you take TRT to get your testosterone up to the normal level of where it should be at for your age, you'll likely feel better. This does not mean you're Superman compared to your peers. Generally the most common range that doctors consider normal is anywhere from 300 - 1,000 ng/dL. That is a massive scale and this is a scale for you whether you're 16 or 100 years old. One study shows teenage boys range from 800 - 1,300 ng/dL. So naturally you could have one individual who has over 3 times the amount of testosterone than another individual. Does this mean that the person with a natural higher level of T is a cheater? Or does the person who uses TRT to get to a higher level within the normal is a cheater? Well if your logic is just the guy with the higher testosterone is the cheater then I don't know what to tell you. Testosterone replacement therapy is normally used for individuals who have testosterone levels on the lower end. This could be for men in retirement/senior ages who have low libido, erectile disfunction, etc... In other cases the patients could be much younger in their 30's and testosterone has been prescribed to help the patient who has struggled with fatigue, depression, infertility, etc... In either case of being old or young the goal is generally to find where your optimum level of T is for living a normal life, and this is likely going to be in the upper 25% of the high natural level, so 600 - 1,000 ng/dL is common. Here is the results of one study that shows the average testosterone levels of men that were tested in age groups. Measurements in Conventional Units (ng/dl), SHBG in (nmol/L) Age # Subjects Total Test. 25-34 45 617 35-44 22 668 45-54 23 606 55-64 43 562 65-74 47 524 75-84 48 471 85-100 21 376   So if you see above, lets say a 34 year old goes in gets tested and his testosterone level comes back at 397. This would be like having the same testosterone level as a man in his 80's or 90's. If you can take the therapy to put your 34 year old self on a testosterone level of say 650 which is about the average of your peers, why is that such a bad thing?

GSPsShadyHandWraps site profile image  

3/6/14 3:01 PM by GSPsShadyHandWraps

"No, I'm comparing the LOGIC that says treating one condition (low T) in order to continue doing the thing that caused that condition -- rather than retire -- is bad, but treating another condition (injuries) in order to continue doing the thing that caused that condition is A-OK."The problem is that nobody used that logic. Its a red herring you made up on your own. In your scenario the fighter recieves treatment for his medical condition, if he has a bad neck, he gets surgery for his bad neck. In the other scenario, the fighter has secondary hypogonadism caused by brain trauma, he gets treated for his hypogonadism but not for the cause of his hypogonadism, namely brain damage. Im arguing in the latter case, the fighter should not be allowed to fight because his most acute injury has not been treated!"im sorry you are so wrapped up in your pre-conceived conclusion that you can't grasp that you are failing to apply the same logic to both situations."What is this the twilight zone, you are the one who is wrapped up in your pre-concieved conclusion. You are basically trying to exclude the brain trauma part of the argument because you are so obsessed about the TRT part