The bold statements in defense of TRT use by some supporters is absurd. Taking the stance that "anything goes" in order to win as long as you don't get caught is easy to understand for anyone who has been around elite competition. In Nascar cheating was a given, if you didn't get caught at least once in a while you weren't cheating enough. Baseball players use steroids, corked bats, pine tar, sandpaper, anything and everything under the excuse that the players' unspoken rule is that everyone else does it too. Even President Bush rewrote the dictionary to provide himself the option to not call torture "torture".
The new interesting idea is simply "Sanctioned-performance enhancing drugs." Or really Sanctioned Cheating. Read more after the jump
The Biggest Question:
Is it "right" to sanction fighters with that therapy to fight against fighters without that therapy?
Sonnen's T level was 400 which is in the normal range but not high. Then they bumped the fighter up to God knows how high for therapeutic levels and cycle down to normal levels after the fight.
As a healthcare provider I can tell you that there will be no shortage of MDs willing to prescribe TRT to anyone who isn't at "optimal" levels. They can defend themselves in front of the board, but the medical board isn't responsible for making the right call (they license plastic surgeons that provide nothing near "medicine")I guarantee you that if BJ Penn approached Chael Sonnens physician he would test for his T levels and prescribe him Testosterone.
What are the risks the Sanctioning body should look out for? Lets look at a presumably normal guy that has Sonnen's level of testosterone. If a provider artificially elevates that number at all it is likely going to interfere with the body's own natural production of tesosterone. (Read: Your nuts). Most guys value their nuts. This is why real steroid users do cycles. TRT isn't meant to be cycled. The drug overtakes your body's normal system to elevate the T levels to a certain height and maintain it there. IF you don't actually need that your testicles will atrophy (think disappear). This is guaranteed to cause infertility.
The stance so many people seem to be taking that they are professional athletes with no accountability besides victory is pretty shortsighted for a professional sport. The playing field is clearly becoming unlevel and if TRT is the baseline for performance and you want to be a F'ing fighter you have to give up the possibility of fathering your own children.
Do we really think this is the direction we should be headed?