Henderson vs. Belfort bout to be at 205; WADA lab suspension means murky TRT situation for both fighters

Chris Trotman

Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort will fight at light heavyweight on November 9 with both men likely to be on Testosterone Replacement Therapy. But how legitimate will the monitoring of the fighters be with Brazil's only accredited WADA lab suspended?

The rematch between Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort planned for UFC Fight Night 32 on November 9 will be contested at light heavyweight. That's according to Henderson himself, as reported by MMA Fighting.

The event is planned to take place in Brazil, though it's not known which city will host. It's unlikely that the event would be moved to the United States given that Belfort is using Testosterone Replacement Therapy, which he likely will not be able to get an exemption for through any of the major American commissions.

Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, previously saidthat he "doesn't see Vitor Belfort getting a TRT exemption," a decision that -- while not entirely Kizer's alone to make -- is based on Belfort previously testing positive for an anabolic steroid after his first bout with Henderson back in 2006.

Henderson is one of the grandfathers of TRT in MMA but he didn't use the therapy for his UFC 161 bout with Rashad Evans due to worries that he wouldn't be granted an exemption for the bout.

However, it appears that Henderson will be applying for a Therapeutic Use Exemption for the Belfort bout. Per MMA Fighting:

Dr. Marcio Tannure, medical director of the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA), told MMAFighting.com that Henderson needs to send him the exams to prove his medical conditions (hypogonadism) to apply for a TRT use, and they will analyze the request.

Sources close to Henderson told MMAFighting.com the former Pride champion will apply for a TUE, and confirmed Belfort will move up to 205 pounds to fight Henderson in Brazil. Tannure confirmed Belfort will continue his use of testosterone replacement therapy for his next fight.

"I wasn’t officially informed about this fight, but if (Henderson) wants to use the TRT exemption in Brazil he will need to send us all the exams so we can analyze it," Dr. Tannure said. "I know he has the authorization to use that in the US, but this is a different commission, so we need to see all the exams."

The article also states that Dr. Tannure said Vitor is regularly blood tested both ahead of and after fights to "guarantee his levels are good."

That'd be a good thing...if only Brazil's only WADA accredited testing facility (and thus, only truly legitimate anti-doping testing location) hadn't been suspended by WADA earlier this month. WADA's release on the situation said "WADA has suspended the accreditation of the LAB DOP - LADETEC / IQ - UFRJ Doping Control Laboratory (LADETEC) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The suspension, which is effective as of August 8, 2013, prohibits the LADETEC from carrying out any WADA-related anti-doping activities."

WADA stated that the lab did not meet the International Standard for Laboratories and could face full revocation of their accreditation.

So there's no recognized accredited lab to do the level of testing truly needed for this kind of monitoring, a black eye for Brazil as it heads toward hosting the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

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