On Thursday, February 27 the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) voted unanimously to ban testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). The decision came just days after ESPN's "Outside the Lines" report on TRT in mixed martial arts. On Friday, March 7 UFC president Dana White held court with MMA media and discussed the TRT ban, ESPN's report, the role he played in the ban, and the current performance of the NSAC.
The first question White took was regarding any UFC fallout following the TRT ban:
The fallout has been zero. ESPN, as usual, they like to embellish s---. First of all, we have 500 guys under contract, now there's this new thing, and TRT has been banned. Five guys can't take TRT. Five guys out of 500. Five guys had exemptions. They made it sound like it's rampant throughout the MMA world. Five guys is rampant?
From there White pointed out that the ESPN story accused him of flip-flopping on the subject of TRT, something White vehemently denied ever doing:
I never f---ing flip-flopped - ever did I flip-flop. I said, right of the bat, I don't like it. You shouldn't use it. I get it, it's science. I even said it's a loophole in the system.
White continued, saying that his talk on the subject came into play when the NSAC decided to ban the use of TRT:
I've been the guy that's been vocal about it and said it should go away, it should go away, it should go away. And if you don't think that that had a huge impact on why it went away, you're crazy.
From there White went back to talk about the ESPN report:
That whole ESPN thing was such a sham. That story was such a sham, and of course they ran the sh--- out of it because it was negative. Half of it wasn't true, or it was just embellished. You know, 500 guys, five guys can't have exemptions now, that's rampant?
The line of questioning then turned to the fighter that has become the face of TRT, Vitor Belfort:
Who knows what's going to happen, and at the end of the day, I don't give a s---. I don't care. If you need that stuff to perform or compete, you probably shouldn't perform or compete anymore. Have I flip-flopped ever on my stance on this stuff? It goes away, I don't give a s---. It's not my problem, and that fight, the whole Vitor thing, that battles not my battle. That's Vitor's battle.
He's still in line. The fights he's won, he's won, and I can tell you this, Vitor Belfort, every time he was tested by us he was within his levels. He was where he was supposed to be, and I also told you guys that we were going to test the s--- out of him, and we did, and he was always within his levels.
When the topic turned to the NSAC vote, White said:
I didn't know it was coming (the ban), but I've been giving a lot of heat. I've been talking about it non-stop that it's bulls--- and that it should go away. So, no, I wasn't shocked that they did it. I'll tell you this too. You guys have heard me rip Nevada, many, many times, Nevada's done a fantastic job. Francisco (Aguilar) is really doing a great job over there right now, and all the other commissioners. I couldn't be happier with the commission right now. They're doing a great job.