I've got good news for Chael Sonnen, Dan Henderson, Frank Mir and a host of other aging Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) stars currently using Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) to prolong their combat sports careers.
According to this report, you can still do work in "The Golden State."
New applicants, however, won't enjoy the same type of leniency. The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) on Monday (June 10, 2013) modified its stance on the controversial treatment by limiting its administration of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE) in cases involving future mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters.
Zack Arnold of Fight Opinion was in attendance:
"Rule 303 (modified text here), which was pushed to try to open up the TUE process for testosterone use, was challenged at Monday's hearing by none other than Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) lawyer Michael Santiago. Santiago happens to be the only lawyer worth anything in DCA's legal office, for what it's worth. Karen Chappelle, the ethically-challenged attorney from the Attorney General's office in Los Angeles, who loves to interfere in combat sports regulation, backed the current behavior regarding allowing fighters to use testosterone despite not having any text passed by the state legislature. Santiago, who rightfully has a professional dislike and disregard for Chappelle's opinion, said that until there is a statute/regulation on the books regarding testosterone, that the commission should not be using an ‘underground' policy of approving T usage. He argued that testosterone is considered a banned substance. The end result is that fighters like Dan Henderson, Chael Sonnen, and Frank Mir will not be allowed to use testosterone while fighting in California until a law is on the books that explicitly spells out approval for T usage."
If you're already on the stuff, you can stay on it. If you're coming in cold; however, you're SOL.
TRT users have a long and sordid history with the CSAC. Sonnen was upended back in 2010 following his UFC 117 loss to Anderson Silva. "The American Gangster" failed to follow proper protocol for obtaining his TUE and wound up on the wrong side of a drug suspension.
According to the report, there will be no future TUEs issued until California can get something in writing on TRT and why a corresponding exemption would benefit the applicant, as well as the commission. But will this temporary policy keep UFC away from the West Coast until further notice?
That remains to be seen.
*Updated to reflect commission's stance on fighters already granted TUEs for TRT.