By Zach Arnold | November 1, 2013
This article is co-authored by Zach Arnold & writer @teamgDp.
Did Vitor Belfort admit to cheating against Anderson Silva when they fought in February of 2011 in Las Vegas?
Anyone paying attention? Hello? Anyone out there care?
Well, technically, people do care enough to vent on Twitter on social media while they are throwing a testosterone tantrum about Belfort. But that doesn’t stop people buying tickets to go to Belfort’s fights or shell out cash to watch him on PPV. Just the way the UFC likes it.
And, hey, who’s the hottest UFC ratings getter of them all? Fox’s Ageless Male, Chael Sonnen.
In September of 2012, a testosterone (anabolic steroid) exemption was granted to an anonymous fighter for UFC 152 (MMA Junkie, 2012). Speculation was rife that it was Vitor Belfort and this was essentially confirmed when he was granted a further exemption for his next two fights in Brazil at UFC on FX 7 and 8 (MMA Junkie, 2013) (Fightline, 2013).
Apparently, his testosterone usage goes back even further as Belfort revealed in a puzzling interview to UOL that he was already using testosterone when he fought Anderson Silva, back in 2011 at UFC 126.
“I’ve (been doing this) for three years,” Belfort said. “I did some exams and they saw I had low testosterone levels. The doctor said ‘Vitor, we need to do something. I don’t know if you agree with this, but it’s important that you do it.’ And it was done.”
“If you has something, if you need something, do it the right way. That’s what I do. I do blood tests all the time… It’s a process that you have to do, (MMA Fighting, 2013).
And who is the doctor UFC uses to oversee fighters using testosterone on foreign shows? Dr. Jeff Davidson via Marc Ratner.
Read the Halloween UOL article (via MMA Fighting) carefully & in its entirety.
When did it start?
Based on this UOL article, one has to wonder if Belfort was also using testosterone in his previous fights against Yoshihiro Akiyama and Anthony Johnson, which took place in Philadelphia and Rio de Janeiro respectively. By admitting he has been using testosterone for the past three years, Belfort has essentially admitted that he has cheated in three separate fights.
How dare you call using testosterone cheating!
When a fighter has elevated levels of testosterone or gets busted for steroids, they’re cheaters. When they get a mark doctor to cry hypogonadism and issue a testosterone slip, they have “a medical condition.” There’s sure a lot of muscular, brawny men in Mixed Martial Arts who have serious medical conditions requiring the approval of anabolic steroids.
While the legitimacy of the testosterone exemption Belfort received from the Comissao Atletica Brasileira de MMA (CABMMA) can certainly be questioned based on his prior failed drug test against Dan Henderson, he did in fact receive permission to use testosterone from the sanctioning body. In his fight against Anderson Silva, and two subsequent fights, he did not seek or receive permission to use testosterone. Using testosterone without a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) is straight up cheating.
Belfort was able to originally escape punishment as his testosterone use was not detected as current testing does not utilize Carbon-Isotope Ratio testing (CIR test) due to its high cost. The fact that Belfort’s unauthorized testosterone usage was not detected is not surprising as Keith Kizer admitted in the Lamont Peterson situation that the NSAC likely would not have caught Peterson for testosterone usage due to their inadequate testing (Fight Opinion, 2012). It’s easy to microdose or use gels & creams that are hard to track without proper drug testing.
Belfort also went on to say he would stop using testosterone if that was one of the conditions for him getting a middleweight title shot: Isn’t it funny that MMA fighters who cry hypogonadism are so easily able to turn the on/off switch when it comes to using testosterone?
“I’ve already said that, if they agree with it, I would (stop doing TRT),” he said. “No problem at all. If they want me to get there in a disadvantage, that’s ok, (MMA Fighting, 2013).
I’m not sure why Belfort would say this as anything but a last resort. Maybe he feels like the only way for him to get a title shot is to give up using testosterone. When we hammered home the industry-wide problem of testosterone usage a couple of years ago, our claim was simple: the testosterone plague would become one of the biggest problems that the sport of Mixed Martial Arts would end up having to deal with in the future. It is the UFC, not boxing promoters, that has driven the modern day testosterone plague in combat sports. It is the UFC with their on-again, off-again attitude about testosterone usage that has created an atmosphere in which the sport they promote is as dirty as horse racing. Their enablers in “the government” can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. It is an undeniable stain on the sport’s credibility.
How can MMA be safer when top guys are begging for anabolic steroids?
When you have a testosterone hall of fame list in MMA that reportedly includes Dan Henderson, Chael Sonnen, Frank Mir, Robert Drysdale, Lavar Johnson, Joe Warren, Ben Rothwell (claiming brain damage from a car accident), Bristol Marunde, Nate Marquardt, Vitor Belfort, Rampage Jackson, Todd Duffee, Shane Roller, and Dennis Hallman then God only knows how much of an epidemic it truly is given the current substandard drug testing (outside of VADA) in the sport. Don’t worry, the testosterone critics are just ignorant. You’re right. We’re ignorant when it comes to the four main root causes for fighters turning to the magic T in the first place:
1) previous and/or current steroid usage
2) damage from weight cutting
3) brain damage/concussions
4) abuse of pain killers/opiates
The testosterone usage is merely a symptom of much larger problems that fighters are dealing with right now in MMA.
Isn’t this testosterone replacement therapy routine supposed to be something that once you get on, you can’t get off without suffering from nasty side effects? Recently, some fighters (like Shane Roller & Dan Henderson) have allegedly started-and-stopped their testosterone routines. How are they able to do this all of a sudden? If testosterone usage is essential for the hypogonadism-inflicted fighters to keep competing, how are they able to fight — in the UFC no less! — without using testosterone? If the testosterone usage is a legitimate medical concern, wouldn’t these fighters be battling regulators & promoters tooth-and-nail in a courtroom by citing the Americans with Disabilities Act?
Question: If MMA fighters are able to start-and-stop their testosterone routines after applying for testosterone slips from regulators & promoters, then why are the regulators & promoters not rescinding the slips they issued in the first place?
Who’s ready for that Brazilian testosterone super battle next week between Vitor Belfort & Dan Henderson? Let’s bring out Chael “The Axiron Murderer” Sonnen to promote TUF Brazil with Wanderlei Silva while we’re at it.