Vitor Belfort: TRT Makes Things Equal
Having faced incessant questions of his use of TRT since the revelations first surfaced last year, he’s defended the medical exemption given to fighters with low testosterone once again, arguing that it only makes things “fair”.
He told Sherdog (H/T Bloody Elbow):
The TRT, the shot just gets you level in the system. So, the bottom line is my level is always lower than a regular guy. I never go [over] the limit, the level. So, what I'm trying to do, I'm just trying to be fair in my career against my opponent. The TRT is just something my body cannot produce. I'm doing the treatment with doctors, with bloodwork, so everything's pretty black and white. But, all of guys are out there doing a lot of stuff but they don't get caught because they don't have blood.
TRT first caught media attention when Chael Sonnen blamed it for failing his post-fight drug test following the loss to Anderson Silva in a middleweight championship fight back in 2010.
Since then, several fighters have come out as having obtained therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for the use of TRT, including MMA veteran Dan Henderson.
What makes Belfort’s use of TRT even more controversial, however, is that he previously failed a drug test in 2006 while fighting for PRIDE. Past use of banned steroids is one reason for low testosterone and the head of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Keith Keizer, has gone on record as saying that that history would likely prevent Belfort from being given a TUE in the state.
Controversially, Belfort hasn’t fought in Nevada since 2011, when he was beaten by Silva in a middleweight title contest—more than a year before his use of TRT came to light. Since then he has fought mainly in Brazil where he’s been repeatedly granted a TUE.
Whatever the case, the 36-year-old veteran of the sport has certainly seen a resurgence in his career. He’s won all four of his fights at middleweight since his loss to Silva, spectacularly so, and now stands at No.3 in the UFC’s 185-pound rankings.
He recently turned down a fight against Tim Kennedy in the hopes of another title shot. However that shot is unlikely to materialise any time soon—and Belfort’s next opponent is far from certain.
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