By Zach Arnold | January 26, 2014
Dana White on NSAC possibly turning down Vitor for TRT: "It just doesn't make sense though. Why would Nevada turn down Vitor for TRT?" #ufc
— MMA Supremacy (@MMASupremacy) January 27, 2014
When Sig Rogich & Lorenzo Fertitta are the political mover-and-shakers in Nevada politics, you do what they tell you to do if you want to maintain your status as a player. Unless, of course, your name is Tim Poster and not even Lorenzo can save your hide with the gaming regulators.
When we posted the job application for the Executive Director slot at the Nevada State Athletic Commission, one thing was very clear: the litmus test for who gets the job will be heavily dependent on their stance on the issue of giving out permission slips to fighters for the usage of testosterone (anabolic steroids). And that litmus test begins with Vitor Belfort.
Whatever the UFC wants, the UFC is going to get.
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Whether it’s Andy Foster (California State Athletic Commission), Mike Mazzulli (Mohegan Sun), Jeff Mullen (Tennessee), George Dodd (former CSAC boss), or whomever the Nevada fixers deem fit to take over the Executive Director slot… one thing is very clear. Whoever gets the job will have to be compliant on the testosterone issue. The genie is out of the bottle and the UFC has been the most influential force regarding their support of fighters who have used testosterone.
On Monday, the Association of Ringside Physicians in boxing & MMA will announce their official position against the proliferation of testosterone permission slips in combat sports.
The incidence of hypogonadism requiring the use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) in professional athletes is extraordinarily rare. Accordingly, the use of an anabolic steroid such as testosterone in a professional boxer or mixed martial artist is rarely justified. Steroid use of any type, including unmerited testosterone, significantly increases the safety and health risk to combat sports athletes and their opponents. TRT in a combat sports athlete may also create an unfair advantage contradictory to the integrity of sport. Consequently, the Association of Ringside Physicians supports the general elimination of therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy.
What makes this announcement so interesting is who is on this committee. Dr. Eddie Ayoub & Dr. Paul Wallace, CSAC’s top two doctors, are associated with this anti-testosterone statement. California’s stance on testosterone has been soft since Chael Sonnen started his shenanigans years ago on the matter. Dr. VanBuren Ross Lemons attempted to push through a testosterone policy in April of 2012 but was stopped by Consumer Affairs after they rejected the overture. Part of that process included a statement from yours truly on the matter. Lemons has been pissed since that rejection and now has been trying to ram through a new testosterone policy which means the doors will once again be open in the future for fighters to use testosterone in California.
Fox Sports doesn’t like talking about their steroid marriage with UFC but sooner or later they’re going to have to address the matter at hand. They didn’t want to when Mark McGwire & Sammy Sosa were hitting homeruns because they had a financial interest at stake. They didn’t exactly come out with a pro-GSP spin on his drug testing comments about the UFC. However, Vitor Belfort is one win away from a UFC title and the testosterone elephant will no longer be avoidable for Fox Sports. They own this issue now along with the UFC. This is their mess & their legacy.
Update (1/27 at 8:30 PM EST): The shell game continues for Zuffa, as Dana White backtracks a bit on the testosterone issue. Take note that there’s no mention about the shows UFC self-regulates and allows testosterone usage on.