One of the most controversial subjects in combat sports over the past few years has been the rise in athletes who have utilized Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT). Many fighters have been able to get exemptions to use TRT in competition to address a diagnosis of low testosterone.
One of the main issues with TRT has been that there are many ways to "cheat" the tests for "low T" and get on the therapy, which can amount to what many consider legalized steroid use.
Today, the Nevada State Athletic Commission voted unanimously to ban TRT entirely in boxing and mixed martial arts, no longer giving exemptions for fighters.
One of the more interesting notes is how sweeping this truly is:
The NSAC's ban on TRT is effective immediately not only for future users, but also current users and past fighters who've received a TUE.— Shaun Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) February 27, 2014
The decision comes in the wake of a fairly scathing ESPN "Outside the Lines" piece which covered just how high TRT exemptions are in the MMA world.
The most obvious and immediate bout that will be impacted by this turn of events is the bout between Vitor Belfort and Chris Weidman for the UFC middleweight title. Belfort has seen a career rebirth since going on TRT and has been the posterboy for the anti-TRT movement as prior steroid abuse can be a cause of low testosterone. Belfort failed a Nevada drug test for steroid abuse several years ago, leading to some A + B = C thinking from many.
We'll have more on the fallout of this massive decision by the NSAC in the coming hours and days.
Here's MMA Fighting's Luke Thomas discussing the ESPN story that likely triggered this action on his Chat Wrap show: