Earlier this week we learned that the Calgary athletic commission hadn’t issued any therapeutic use exemptions for UFC 161 … an interesting revelation because Dan Henderson is one of the guys known to be on testosterone replacement therapy. When asked about it, Hendo shrugged and told MMA Junkie it was no biggie:
“It didn’t look like they would approve it, so I just quit taking the testosterone,” Henderson told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “I stopped about six to eight weeks out. I was told by my doctor that wouldn’t be a problem at all. I wasn’t using that much, anyway.”
“I guess they won’t approve it unless you can prove a physical problem with your body that would explain why you need it other than just testing low for testosterone,” Henderson said. “You have to give them a reason why your body has a physical ailment, such as your pituitary gland or something. That wasn’t my case. They weren’t going to approve me, so I didn’t even apply for it. After they spoke with my doctor, I just withdrew my application.
“My doctor, this is his primary field, and there’s not always a way to pinpoint the reasoning to why people need testosterone. Sometimes there’s trauma to the testicular area or maybe the pituitary gland. Who knows? It could be testicular trauma. I’ve been hit in the balls a lot. But there’s no real way to show that.”
He’s also spent a long MMA career plus all those years wrestling cutting weight, which also wreaks havoc on a person’s endocrine system. Damnit, what am I doing? Defending Dan Henderson’s use of testosterone? What can I say … maybe it’s because he’s 42 or maybe it’s because he doesn’t show up to his fights looking like a Rob Leifeld comic book character, but TRT doesn’t seem nearly as shady when Dan does it as when, say, Vitor Belfort does it.
A rational distinction, or a rationalization because Dan Henderson is a charming son of a bitch? While everyone else is taking serious flak for using the stuff, Dan just talks about it like it’s no big deal and is so convincing we all end up kinda believing him. “Hey, it’s just a little testosterone, man. I barely noticed the difference!”
“I didn’t feel too big of a difference,” Henderson said. “I was a little tired here and there, but that’s not too different from all my other training camps. My last couple camps, I’ve been having some problems with my chest, some asthma. As a kid, I had exercise-induced asthma, and I felt the testosterone made a difference there. But who knows?
“It’s hard to tell. I never noticed a huge difference. I just know my doctor says it’s healthier for me. I know I was getting sick less often when taking TRT, and I seemed to have more energy.”