Somewhere between Randy Couture “miraculously” extending his career in the cage to Vitor Belfort transforming into a character in a cartoon about superheroes, the use of testosterone replacement therapy turned into a gigantic mess – a mess that has begun shaping the course of the sport. Gone are the days when a fighter getting busted for steroids in their urine sample is the worst thing that they could do. Now it’s all testosterone levels during training camps, and testosterone-usage exemptions and who can get them for which athletic commissions.
Well, the Association of Ringside Physicians (ARP) has had enough of that TRT crap, and they’ve released the following statement on the matter:
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.
It’s unclear just how much juice the ARP has – i.e., will their statement coming down against TRT actually lead to any sort of change? However, regardless of whether anything is changed, one thing is certain: the issue with TRT abuse is there and medical professionals see it. That’s got to count for something.