UFC on FX: Brazil's MMA medical director explains decision to grant TRT exception for Vitor Belfort

Chris Trotman

Why does Vitor Belfort get approved for TRT in Brazil when he would likely be denied in Las Vegas? Marcio Tannure, medical director of the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission, explains.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Vitor Belfort, who has been the subject of media scrutiny following his admission of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) earlier this year, added more fuel to the fire when he knocked out Luke Rockhold at UFC on FX 8 back on May 18, 2013, at Arena Jaragua in Santa Catarina, Brazil (see it again here).

And one reporter almost got his ass kicked in the process.

But while "The Phenom" was relentlessly dogged by the mixed martial arts (MMA) media, one person who escaped a line of questioning was Marcio Tannure, medical director of the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission and the man responsible for authorizing Belfort's Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).

Until now.

Tannure tells Fighters Only that while his governing body was modeled after the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), he will not follow its same decisions. Namely, the NSAC's policy on denying a TUE for a fighter like Belfort, who was previously suspended for using anabolic steroids.

"I can't say what was the cause of his hypogonadism, what happened and what didn't, because we don't know that. And there are several possible causes for this condition... There are androgenic and anabolic hormones and, in fact, people do not know the difference between them. If, at some point, Vitor Belfort gets caught in a drug test with an anabolic hormone, he will be punished again like any other fighter. But he is currently using an androgenic hormone, specific for replacement.. So far no other fighter requested it. All fighters are tested before the fight, and six fighters are drawn to be tested again after the fight. Since Vitor is in treatment, he was also required to perform a blood test to check if his testosterone levels are normal. We can't tell the lab's name because of medical confidentiality... Marijuana and cocaine will be treated the same as always, they are doping."

See the full report here.

UFC President Dana White has vowed to "test the shit out of TRT users," but some fans (and pundits) have cried foul after learning that said tests, at least for Belfort, will take place in his home country of Brazil, in Brazilian labs and under their supervision.

That may change; however, if the promotion is forced into this situation.

For more on Belfort and the TRT debate click here.

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