UFC on FX: Brazil commissioner explains decision to grant Vitor Belfort’s TRT exemption
UFC middleweight contender Vitor Belfort just racked up another first round win earlier this month in Brazil at the UFC on FX 8 card with a highlight reel spinning kick KO of former Strikeforce champ Luke Rockhold. His wins lately have come under much scrutiny, as he has admitted to using TRT (testosterone replacement therapy), and has been very adamant on the use of it, so much so he was involved in an post fight quarrel with a reporter over it.
But while “The Phenom” has been peppered by the mixed martial arts (MMA) media, one person who escaped a line of questioning was Marcio Tannure, medical director of the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission and the man responsible for authorizing Belfort’s Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). Tannure has exempted Belfort in his last 2 fights, and has stayed out of the line of fire of questioning, until now.
Tannure tells Fighters Only that while his governing body was modeled after the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), he will not follow its same decisions. Namely, the NSAC’s policy on denying a TUE for a fighter like Belfort, who was previously suspended for using anabolic steroids.
“I can’t say what was the cause of his hypogonadism, what happened and what didn’t, because we don’t know that. And there are several possible causes for this condition… There are androgenic and anabolic hormones and, in fact, people do not know the difference between them. If, at some point, Vitor Belfort gets caught in a drug test with an anabolic hormone, he will be punished again like any other fighter. But he is currently using an androgenic hormone, specific for replacement.. So far no other fighter requested it. All fighters are tested before the fight, and six fighters are drawn to be tested again after the fight. Since Vitor is in treatment, he was also required to perform a blood test to check if his testosterone levels are normal. We can’t tell the lab’s name because of medical confidentiality… Marijuana and cocaine will be treated the same as always, they are doping.”
One has to wonder if all it takes is just to request for the exemption, why don’t more fighters in their mid to late 30’s go to Brazil and just use TRT? UFC president Dana White has vowed to “test the shit out of TRT users” yet Dana may be forced to promote an admitted user in the next UFC middleweight championship bout, after July’s bout of course.