Chris Weidman, UFC middleweight champion, is one of many celebrating the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) decision on Thursday to ban Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE) for Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT).
The ruling from the nation's most visible athletic commission was reported by MMAFighting.com.
It is a determination that will prevent Weidman's next title challenger, Vitor Belfort, from undergoing TRT ahead of their meeting at UFC 173 in May. Belfort has received a TUE for his past several fights and likely would have sought one before his shot at Weidman.
With UFC 173 being held in Las Vegas and this decision taking effect immediately, Belfort will have to battle for the 185 pound with allegedly low testosterone levels.
Having spoken out against Belfort's TRT usage in recent months, though, Weidman won't be feeling much sympathy for the Brazilian. In fact, the middleweight titleholder feels the NSAC has helped MMA move forward in a big way, telling MMAFighting.com:
This is an amazing day for the sport. This is something that I've wanted to see happen for quite some time. TRT was and has always been cheating, and I'm glad Nevada finally recognized that, especially since I'm about to fight there against a known TRT user. Hopefully, every other athletic commission follows because this was long overdue. If you need TRT to fight, you shouldn't fight. Period.
It should be noted Belfort is far from the only fighter to receive a TUE over recent years. Big names such as Dan Henderson, Chael Sonnen, Frank Mir, Forrest Griffin, Quinton Jackson and Antonio Silva have all used TRT during their careers.
One reason Belfort has taken more heat than most of those competitors is because he failed a drug test due to elevated testosterone following a Pride FC 32 bout against Henderson.
Many have questioned why a fighter with a past drug test failure should be granted a TUE later on. Now, no fighter, regardless how clean their track record is, will be able to obtain a TUE in Nevada. Taking it a step further, UFC president Dana White told MMAFighting.com that his promotion would follow the NSAC's lead when it acts as a commission on foreign soil.
The UFC fully supports the decision made today by the NSAC regarding the immediate termination of TUEs for TRT. We believe our athletes should compete based on their natural abilities and on an even playing field. We also intend to honor this ruling in international markets where, due to a lack of governing bodies, the UFC oversees regulatory efforts for our live events. We encourage all athletic commissions to adopt this ruling.
TRT has sparked some of the most heated debates in the MMA world recently. Now, the NSAC has finally made their opinion known, and many other commissions are likely to take a similar stand.
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