UFC should legalize and regulate TRT. This would have allowed MMA athletes like Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson to continue fighting.
Anderson “The Spider” Silva, a Brazilian mixed martial arts (MMA) athlete and former UFC Middleweight Champion, wants Ultimate Fight Championship (UFC) to consider legalizing and regulating the use of testosterone as part of an athlete’s doctor-prescribed androgen replacement therapy.
Silva does not think it is fair that older MMA athletes are forced to choose between continuing to fight in the UFC or choosing TRT to optimize their health. MMA athletes who have a medical need for TRT should be allowed to use it.
If UFC legalized and regulated the use of TRT, the careers of top MMA athletes could be extended. Silva singled out former MMA champions Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson as athletes who quit when TRT was banned.
Anderson Silva could return to the ring if UFC allows him to use TRT.
Silva even hinted that he would consider fighting again if he were allowed to use testosterone (as part of TRT, of course).
Silva made the comments in a lengthy interview with Rap77. The interview was uploaded to YouTube on January 8, 2019. However, it was likely recorded a few months earlier. The interview was conducted in Portuguese but subtitled in English.
“There are some athletes who need to make use of the hormonal replacement,” Silva said. “If USADA regulated that, we’d have the sport at a high level, with athletes who have stopped fighting. Vitor, for example. Even me, though I never had the replacement. But some athletes who really need it, who are older. Dan Henderson, many other athletes who have stopped because of this.”
— MMAjunkie (@MMAjunkie) January 11, 2019
Silva supports the involvement of USADA in the UFC. However, he wishes there was more flexibility when it came to TRT.
Silva failed to note was that USADA already permits TRT in the UFC if an athlete is approved for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE).
The criteria for TUE are simply too stringent for athletes like Belfort of Henderson (or Silva for that matter) to be approved.
For example, athletes like Silva who have previously tested positive for anabolic steroids are automatically disqualified from receiving a TUE for TRT.
Since Silva was suspended for one year after he tested positive for metabolites of Masteron and Methyltestosterone, USADA would likely deny a TUE permitting Silva to use testosterone.
USADA could conceivably make an exception since it agreed that Silva’s steroid positives were caused by the use of contaminated dietary supplements obtained from a Brazilian compounding pharmacy. The same compounding pharmacy led to steroid positives in three other Brazilian MMA athletes i.e. Junior Dos Santos, Antonio Rogerio and Marcos Rogerio.
The bottom line is that Silva is calling for USADA and UFC to legalize TRT in the sport when it is already permitted.
Maybe he just does not realize that it is already legal and regulated? Or perhaps he simply wants the TUE criteria to be more permissive?