Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) dealt a might blow to fighters using testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), ruling on Thursday (Feb. 27, 2014) that it would no longer grant a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) to a fighter partaking in the controversial treatment.
That includes Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight Dan Henderson.
Unlike a lot of late bloomers, the longtime combat sports veteran has been using it for seven years and believes the recent ban on TRT doesn't really address the performance enhancing drug (PED) problem in mixed martial arts (MMA), insomuch as it punishes fighters with a legitimate medical condition.
From his conversation with MMA Fighting:
"I just think they took the easy way out. Instead of trying to get rid of the bigger problem of PEDs, they banned the drugs they had already approved for athletes with chronically low testosterone levels. I would love for them to do better. Random, no advance notice drug testing."
Random drug testing has proved to be effective, but costly, limiting its frequency.
Following the recent ban -- which shook up the UFC 173 fight card and put Vitor Belfort under a microscope, the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA) followed suit, banning the use of TRT for future events. "Hendo," however, still gets one last TUE for his "Shogun" Rua rematch later this month.
And after that?
Henderson -- like his friend and fellow TRT user Chael Sonnen -- will have to take it one fight at a time, assuming they can get off the couch without feeling sick.