I was reading the comments section on Dan Henderson's most recent interview, and naturally there were some very good arguments both supporting and condemning the use of Testosterone Replacement Therapy in professional combat sports. Those that argue for the benefits of TRT often cite that there is no scientific evidence that this procedure has detrimental health implications in either the short or long term. This very well may be the case, but I think this argument ignores an important, unintended detriment that comes with extending a career beyond what has previously been naturally possible.
In years past, when an athlete no longer had the physical abilities, and/or they had acquired too much head trauma, they would stop competing. Today, if an athlete has taken a lot of head trauma and has dilapidated physical abilities, they can fix the physical issue with TRT, but they still have the same banged up brain.
So, yes, TRT may not have any long term effects on one's endocrine system, but, extending a combat sports career ten years beyond where it may previously been possible, could have serious long term effects on one's brain.
Now, i recognize that prior to athletic commissions providing TUEs for this, athletes were already taking hormones. I also recognize that regardless of what commissions permit, athletes are responsible for their own health. However, the implicit acceptance of the practice is sure to have some effect.
What would have happened after the Rich Franklin fight if Chuck started injecting and felt faster and stronger than he ever had in his life? Perhaps he would have taken another fight against a dangerous opponent and his brain would have suffered more damage than his body previously would have permitted.
That's all. I look forward to your comments.