Testosterone replacement therapy may have been sports’ dirty little secret, but Chael Sonnen and Nate Marquardt changed that with their highly publicized run ins with state commissions in California, Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Those are some of the leading commissions in the country yet there’s no standard policy and plenty of gray area to allow fighters to, at a minimum, enhance their performance between fights and during training camp.
The confusion over TRT really concerns UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta.
“What you can’t have are guys abusing this to the point where their levels are at some super-human factor, giving them this performance enhancement,” Fertitta told ESPNRadio1100’s “The MMA Insiders” show in Las Vegas.
Fertitta says testing right before and after a fight isn’t enough to prevent fighters from abusing TRT.
“There’s got to be more random testing. It seems like, possibly, guys are getting outside the boundary while they’re training and managing it down where once the week of the fight [has arrived], they take the test and they’re fine. I think that there needs to be this random testing to make sure no one’s abusing it,” said Fertitta (1:25 mark).
“I think we came off with a pretty strong response to Nate Marquardt, and kind how we feel about TRT,” Fertitta said. “Our stance is we’re working with commissions to say ‘look this whole thing has got to come to an end.’ If you are going to have some kind of therapy, not only can you not be at the top end of the range, you can’t be anywhere near performance enhancing.”
Before he was due to fight in the main event at UFC on Versus 4, Marquardt failed his test in Pennsylvania. He was suspended by the Keystone State and then it came to light his TRT issues began in N.J. before UFC 128.
Marquardt didn’t have a testosterone use exemption in either state and tested positive at least once. What was the penalty? He was fired by the UFC, with little hopes of a return, but he is once again free to fight in the U.S.. Once he passed a subsequent test in Pennsylvania he was cleared and will serve no suspension.