UFC president Dana White undermining former stalwart support of government testing with new stance on TRT

Michael Cohen

Leading up to Saturday's UFC On Fuel TV 7 event, Dana White shifted his entire view on TRT with a vitriolic rant in a Q&A. He even stated in the post-fight press conference that he intends to test all those with TUEs through their fight camps. But is he prepared for the repercussions?

Earlier this week, UFC president Dana White voiced the opinion of many fans when he declared testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) legalized cheating. Previously, White had supported the therapy as "absolutely fair" and an impressive advancement in sports science. On top of that, Dana has long vouched for the governmental state athletic commission testing (SAC) as the "gold standard" for performance enhancing drug (PED) testing in modern sports.

What White now despises is an exempted fighter's ability to game the system using TRT. He believes they're able to jack up their testosterone levels early in their fight camp, then return to "normal" level by fight night. And, if this is happening with TRT users, it certainly is an abuse of the medical treatment. However, as an SAC approved medicinal process, they do (or should) have testing in place to monitor usage. For example, when former Heavyweight champion Frank Mir used TRT at UFC 146, he submitted to 5 blood tests and 2 urinalyses for the event.

Therein lies the problem for Dana. He can't simultaneously claim that the SAC's are the epitome of drug testing in sports while also saying that the UFC needs to intervene for TRT regulation. If he's admitting that the commissions are dropping the ball, that does more than enough to open the window to question their ability to regulate other PEDs.

Additionally, to pursue TRT users like Chael Sonnen, Dan Henderson, and Forrest Griffin the UFC will have to go through a third party to avoid any conflict of interest. Again, this flies in the face of what Dana's said before when he's stated that it'd be impossible for him to fly around the world to test the UFC's 400+ fighters. Obviously, if it's an independent agency, the UFC would seek one that could handle the full load of their roster.

And that's what Dana's going to have to consider as he pursues his new crusade against TRT. If the government regulated testing isn't strict enough for those with a prescription, can it possibly be tight enough for other fighters who may or may not be tested at all? If the UFC feels they have to intervene with TRT, can they possibly defend their position of not testing fighters without a medical professional's prescription?

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