UFC Middleweight Vitor Belfort was given permission to use testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) for his UFC on FX 7 bout with Michael Bisping.
Additionally, Vitor Belfort was on TRT for the fight.— John Morgan (@MMAjunkieJohn) February 6, 2013
Last week rumors had run rampant that Belfort had failed his post-fight urine test but apparently that was never a danger. Dana White confirmed that somone on the card had failed a test but denied it was Belfort. Tatame.com revealed earlier today that Lightweight Thiago Tavares was the fighter who failed his drug test following the event.
Belfort was asked about TRT before the bout and gave the following cryptic response:
ESPN: Some fighters in their 30s have been diagnosed with low testosterone levels and received exemptions to use testosterone replacement therapy [TRT]. Have you ever applied for TRT or would you consider it?
Belfort: If a question is private, I have the choice to answer or not. If I make it public, it's not private anymore. If I want to say something private I will say it, but I keep to myself and I respect the laws of the sport. Whatever the organization, whatever the law -- they know what to do. This is too controversial, why am I going to say something that doesn't accomplish anything? If it's legal, they know what to do. If it's legal, there's nothing to say about it. It's legal.
ESPN: As you mention, TRT is legal for fighters who qualify for it. Do you believe it's getting a bad image in the sport? Fans are too quick to judge fighters who use it?
Belfort: It's hard. Like, you're either a Republican or Democrat. Who is right? I think it's this: The truth is always in the middle. Of course, some things are non-negotiable. I think in life, you just need to find a balance. That's the problem with the rule, is that everyone is so radical. That's my opinion. I'm very faithful to the things I believe in and I'm working on myself. I don't like to judge. When you judge people, it sounds like you are God. We live in a freedom country. It is what it is.
Belfort's UFC on FX 7 opponent Michael Bisping made no secret of his low opinion of TRT before the bout:
"I think it's absolute nonsense, rubbish, bullsh*t. Listen, we all get old, we all grow up, you know? At some point, as you start getting older, your balls don't work as well and you don't make as much testosterone, but, that's life and you deal with it. A guy that is 40-years old doesn't make as much testosterone as a 21-year old so he gets an exemption certificate to say, 'So now we will give him as much testosterone as a 21-year old.'
Well, what about me, I'm 33 (years of age), I'm not making the same amount as a 21-year old, but I make more than a 40-year old. Where do we draw the line? It's nonsense. Listen, nature determines that and I don't think we should interfere with that. I think it's cheating very, very well, it's dressed up. Its nonsense, its absolute bullsh*t and I, for one, am very, very against it. I would never ever do that. I am who I am and I've done well doing what I do."
Belfort tested positive in 2006 for 4-hydroxytestosterone following his Pride 32 loss to Dan Henderson.He was suspended for 9 months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission but defied the suspension and fought in the UK before he served out his suspension. Here's more from Wikipedia:
At Pride 32: The Real Deal on October 21, 2006, Belfort lost a unanimous decision to Pride Welterweight Champion Dan Henderson. After the fight, Belfort tested positive for an illegal substance, 4-hydroxytestosterone. In his defense, Belfort argued that he purchased an over the counter supplement which contained 4-Hydroxytestosterone. Belfort also explained that he may have received 4-Hydroxytestosterone as the result of rehabilitative injections given to him by Brazilian endocrinologist Dr. Rodrigo M. Greco after his surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee in the summer of 2006. The Nevada State Athletic Commission eventually received a statement from Dr. Greco stating that he did give Belfort post surgical injections containing testosterone. While conceding that Belfort may have not known about the testosterone, the NSAC explained that even if Belfort was given injections by a medical practictioner who did not inform him that they contained anabolic steroids, it would still be a violation of the banned substances policy. On December 21, 2006 he was suspended for nine months from the date of the hearing and fined $10,000.
While the NSAC said they would refuse to re-license Belfort following his defiance of their suspension, the California State Athletic Commission wasn't so scrupulous and licensed him to fight in California in 2008. Following the CSAC's decision the NSAC backed down and again licensed Belfort to fight for the UFC MW title at UFC 126 in 2011.