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Steve Cofield & Larry Pepe: Is Nate Marquardt telling the truth about his medical interaction with the New Jersey ACB?

By Zach Arnold | June 30, 2011

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Audio courtesy of ESPN 1100 Las Vegas & Steve Cofield of Yahoo Sports’ Larry Pepe’s audio show archives can be found here.

This interview took place a few hours after the Tuesday morning/afternoon sit down that Nate Marquardt & his manager Lex McMahon did with Ariel Helwani of

LARRY PEPE: “I had a couple of issues that raised some flags for me. He’s say he’s been on (TRT) since August of last year, which means he was on it for the (Rousimar) Palhares fight, he was on it for obviously he was going to be on it when he fought Rick Story, on it when he fought Dan Miller in New Jersey, and then he had one other fight before the Miller fight when he fought (Yushin) Okami but that was overseas and they didn’t have a commission. The red flag for me was when he said that he went to New Jersey to fight Dan Miller, presented his paperwork to the commission to get his Therapeutic Use Exemption and they weren’t completely pleased with the paperwork and said that they would let him fight but that after the fight he had to come off for like 8-to-10 weeks, do a series of blood tests, have those tests look at by an endocrinologist and then they would make a determination and that was one red flag for me because it struck me as very odd that a commission get paperwork, feel that it was insufficient, but then let the guy fight anyway. That struck me as very, very strange.

STEVE COFIELD: “Well, that is bizarre, and I don’t believe that for one second and then starts to move me towards Chael Sonnen territory because really what California was mad at Sonnen, uh, you know mad at him about more than anything was the inconsistency with the reporting in saying that he had told Nevada told about it and Keith Kizer and then Kizer came back and said I didn’t know anything about this and that’s why California was angry. The second part of the Marquardt thing that was bizarre to me (on Tuesday) was he claims he was taking a pill form of this TRT for those previous fights, he got off, and then… wait, they’re monitoring something 6 weeks out, 3 weeks out he changes from the pills to a straight injection and he claims the injection may have been the reason that he was over the limit. Why would you switch 3 weeks before a fight?”

LARRY PEPE: “Well, let me clarify a couple of things because this is where it even gets a little stranger. He said that he was taking two different pill forms of medication for what he defined as an off-label use. What that means is that he was prescribed something that was never intended to really have anything to do with testosterone, that’s not what it’s a treatment for and that’s why they call it’s an off-label use, so that’s its own kind of weird category. But he said that these two pills which he took one every other day and one three days a week weren’t actually testosterone, what they are is something that would encourage his body to produce more of its own testosterone. Okay, fine. So he said he was on that coming up to the New Jersey fight. Then he talked about the New Jersey (ACB) telling him that they wanted him to talk nothing for this 8-10 week period afterwards which brought him, Steve, right up to 3 weeks before the fight with Story which he ultimately couldn’t qualify for and that’s when they put the injections in and because the doctor said, you’re not going to get the benefit fast enough in essence if we put you on the pills because I guess that’s a more gentle manipulation and that’s your own testosterone levels so it would take longer for them to come up. So, they put him on the injections which you would think knowing he has a fight coming up you’re going to monitor that extremely closely in terms of your blood levels and he admitted himself that he made a mistake by not monitoring it more closely and letting several weeks go by and that’ when his levels got out of whack and too high.”

STEVE COFIELD: “So, that’s on him, that’s on his doctor. Now as far as the UFC goes… is that a fireable offense? You know, it might be.”

LARRY PEPE: “It might be, you know, here’s the thing… I’m kind on the fence as whether it’s fireable… but it wouldn’t bother me at all if it was, say, a one year suspension, you’re not getting any fights for a year, you’re not going to make any money fighting with us for a year. Indefinite seems like a lot but you have to keep in mind that this was an issue that was within his control, it was an issue he was well aware of for quite some time, he’d be on this since August of last year, and he was the main event at a time let’s not forget that the UFC is in the middle of negotiating and exploring relationships with a number of different networks because their Spike TV deal is coming up. It doesn’t look very good if you’re negotiating with, you know, XXY network that your main event just got blown up in a way that was completely avoidable if the fighter acted more responsibly. It’s one thing if we see an injury, can’t control that, everybody gets that. But in this scenario, it was really all in Nate’s control and Nate didn’t do the right thing and as a result the UFC, while they ended up with what I thought was a great event, they were really left with egg on their faces for all the advertising and promotion they did, the event was called UFC (Live) on Versus 4, Marquardt vs. Story.”

STEVE COFIELD: “There have been other cases where guys have come out and said, hey, I knowingly took steroids. They eventually came back and I’ll give you the worse one… Thiago Silva turned in false urine. So, I mean, see with Marquardt you’re like, all right, was it really malicious or just stupid? And, you know, I can understand, hey, fighters freak out sometimes like Silva, hey, I got to take it, my back, but you made a decision, you KNOWINGLY cheated and then you tried to defraud the system! He’s going to be back.”

LARRY PEPE: “Yeah. I think, here’s the difference and, you know, people can agree with this or not agree with this but I think the differences in those other cases where we see guys test positive, they test positive after the fight, the fight goes on, nothing is hurt from a business standpoint and that testing is in the hands of the commission, not in the hands of the UFC. So, the UFC’s business interest is not hurt per se. In this case? Their business interest is directly hurt because their main event fighter, in a situation that was within his control, did not do what he should have done to protect that event and I think that’s why they got so upset.

“And Steve, I just want to go back to one thing real quick which struck me as really odd as well… doesn’t it strike you as odd that a commission, in this case New Jersey, is going to tell a fighter we don’t want you to take the medical treatment that you supposedly need by your doctor’s advise because we want you to test. I mean, what’s the liability with that? Would you ever tell a diabetic, we don’t want you to take insulin for 8 weeks because we’re not sure you’re diabetic?”

SMOKIN’ DAVE COKIN: “Has there been a response from the New Jersey commission as to that accusation?”

LARRY PEPE: “That’s a great question, Dave, and I haven’t seen anything. I called Nick Lembo twice earlier (Tuesday), I’m sure he’s gotten about a 100 of those phone calls and I’m anxious to talk to him because this whole interaction with New Jersey seems to me to be really like at the crux at this whole issue.”

STEVE COFIELD: “Hey, Larry, I don’t know what will happen, but I just have a sneaky suspicion it’s going to look a lot like (Chael) Sonnen and (Keith) Kizer, you know, where Kizer says, hey, that’s not what went down.”

LARRY PEPE: “Yeah, it wouldn’t surprise me because it really does strike me as odd, Steve. I just… you know, Nick Lembo’s an intelligent guy, I’ve had him on the show, he’s an attorney. Just from a liability standpoint, to tell someone not to take medical treatment that they supposedly, and I say supposedly because we don’t know anything for sure right now, but that they supposedly need? Wow. Like, what if he comes off that treatment and has a heart attack, God forbid, you know? It also strikes me as odd that a commission’s as respected as New Jersey would get that paperwork, define it as insufficient, and say, yeah, you know what, go ahead and get in the cage with Dan Miller and fight that fight and we’ll sort that out afterwards.”

STEVE COFIELD: “Miller has a case! Hey, I want my win bonus!”

LARRY PEPE: “Absolutely, and Miller should file an appeal to get it changed to a no contest this afternoon.”

STEVE COFIELD: “One last thing. Small mention of the way UFC fighters handle their media stuff sometimes. Nate Marquardt talked to one outlet (Tuesday). Now you hear us, he talked to AOL, good show with Ariel Helwani, but his camp said one outlet, that’s it. Huge mistake because a lot of the questions that Larry has asked, that I would ask, that (Kevin) Iole, that, that would get more clarification, you know, would clear things up a little more. I think he’s thrown out a story here that has a lot of unanswered questions and I’m not blaming the interviewer because Ariel, you know, he’s got an hour with it, he got to a lot of the stuff, but there’s, you know, by yourself there’s only so much you can get to. I’m telling you, that is not a good way to handle these things.”

LARRY PEPE: “No, it’s not, and it also speaks to the issue of, you know, it raises that thing in your head like, all right, if you’re really coming clean, you really have a solid story, you really have nothing to hide, why not talk to 5 or 10 outlets? Because no interview is perfect, there’s always going to be a question that I’m going to forget, that you’re going to think of and vice versa, and to me I think it’s a big P.R. mistake. It’s too controlled and why do you have to be controlled if you’re prepared to tell the whole story?”


Two great points directly/indirectly brought up in this interview discussion.

a) What is the name of Nate Marquardt’s doctor who prescribed the TRT?

b) Why is there not more media spotlight on Dr. Jeff Davidson, who is UFC’s doctor to the fighters, in relation to this matter given that Marquardt fought Okami in Germany and was supposedly on TRT during that time period?

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 4 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

4 Responses to “Steve Cofield & Larry Pepe: Is Nate Marquardt telling the truth about his medical interaction with the New Jersey ACB?”

  1. jim genia says:

    I interviewed Dr. Sherry Wulkan, who handles the TRT stuff for the NJSACB, last night. it should be up on MMA Converts later. she gave some good clinical insight.

  2. Keith Harris says:

    Yes, as I was reading that transcript I was wondering why there was so much focus on the New Jersey AC, who at least had valid concerns about his doctor and treatment, yet nothing was said about the Texas AC and UFC doctor who rubber stamped his testosterone usage.

  3. Norm says:

    Nate’s trying to save face, but I have a feeling the ending is going to be even worse than it’s been thus far.

    His quack Dr. did an absolutely horrible job handling an already touchy issue. There are actually some protocols in place for HRT and he was getting all willy nilly with the timing of things and using off label products, etc.

    My guess is the Dr. was using hCG, not the diet stuff, to kick start Nate’s own Test production. It’s the same stuff Stallone got picked up for in Austrailia and I believe the same stuff Manny Ramierez and Brain Cushing got nailed for. Though I believe it is an injectible, not a pill.


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