Analyzing Alistair Overeem's TRT Defense Possibilities

April 12, 2012 2:44 pm by Lynn R Mitchell

By Lynn Mitchell:
Amidst all the controversy Alistair Overeem has drawn to himself these past two weeks he still remains tight lipped about the whole thing.  In the days following his failed test for T/E ratio (or elevated concentration of endogenous steroid)-the MMA fans rally to move Mark Hunt up to a title shot at Junior Dos Santos’ Heavyweight crown.

However, Overeems defense still needs to be heard on April 24th.   The question is-does he have a defense?

According to the NSAC he does.  The same commission that ordered the test says, if Alistair Overeem pleads he had a sudden case of low testosterone, he can submit an application for a TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption)- 20 days out from a fight.  Overeem failed the random test before the 20 days allowed.  So, what we have is – a commission ordering a random test and according to procedure giving him a defense as well.

If he pleads his case this way there’s more, he must provide results of no fewer than five tests, measuring things like total serum testosterone level (on separate occasions), luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone and measurement of hemoglobin and hematrocrit levels.  According to Keith Kizer NSAC Executive Director, this is usually enough to discourage a fighter to even want to apply for TUE.

The TUE for TRT in MMA can be all misled and misconstrued for PEDs if abused.  Let’s get this straight – the acronyms can make things very confusing.   According to my research on the subject-a TUE is used to obtain an exemption for TRT (testosterone replacement therapy).   The NSAC has had only three exemptions allowed in the past 12 years, Dan Hederson, Todd Duffy and Shane Roller.

Fighters like BJ Penn, Mark Hunt, Kenny Florian and Bas Ruttin have said the use of TRT is flat out cheating.  Fighters who use it say its needed therapy for low levels of testosterone due to training and if in their thirties and forties the TRT is to maintain the normal levels of testosterone, help with depression and fatigue.

This subject and the fight to keep fighters from abusing PEDs is far from over, in fact its just getting started.  My research led me to an article on the next frontier of sports Performance Enhancement.  Let’s just say it’s not a drug, it’s a gene.


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