Belfort TRT doc: Ban drives fighters to black market
In an interview with MMAJunkie co-founder Steven Marrocco, Dr. John Pierce, the anti-aging doctor linked to Vitor Belfor,t says he thinks the ban on Testosterone Replacement Therapy will push fighters to the black market.
•D.O. (2003), Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Pomona California, 1999-2003
•B.S. (1998), Kinesiology Science, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, 1996-1999, Cum Laude
•Associate of General Studies (1997), Community College of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, 1992-1998
•American Board of Anti-aging and Regenerative Medicine
•American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians (ACOEP)
“What they’ve in essence done is taken people that were forthright about their usage of testosterone for a medical purpose and punished them for it,” said Pierce. “That makes no sense because, bottom line, it’s going to happen.
“Instead of having a physician involved in the care of a patient – monitoring their levels, where you’re getting a test all the time, much more so than you would a normal patient because of the nature of their work – you’re going to get people doing it underground, using black market steroids, not bio-identical hormones that have not been tested. They could potentially get themselves sick injecting themselves with whatever.
“And then, at that juncture, they’re cheating because they’re not being forthright about it.”
“I actually have had people tell me that doing it the illicit way was much easier. They wouldn’t even consider doing it the legal way, because it would be much easier to do it the illicit way. They wouldn’t be under as much scrutiny.”
“If any of these people that are saying they have any experience dealing with people who’ve done steroids in the past, you can get their systems turned back on, unless they’ve done high dosages for years. Then, I’ve had very difficult times getting their system back on. But for the majority of people, they can be on testosterone, and you can take them off and get their natural system producing right back to normal within six weeks.
“So it’s laughable when I read some of the stuff that you guys write. People that are naysayers go, ‘If he did steroids, then that’s why he has a low level.’ Well, no, because No. 1, you guys don’t know how to read the labs. I do. And you can see the other hormones that are being sent from the brain down to the testicles to get them to work, and they’re not working. It has nothing to do with steroid use in the past.”
“I truly hope for [Belfort's] sake that he can compete at the same level, and then all the naysayers can just button their lips and say no more. Because it seems to me that everybody’s trying to take away from this particular individual’s accomplishments, and all the time and effort that he’s put into his career.”