The discussion included the issuing of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) for Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT).
MMA Sentinel: Dana was saying a little while back that he wanted the UFC to be doing their own independent testing of guys on TRT. Do you know if that's still the plan, or if anything has come of that yet?
Marc Ratner: We're still studying that. There are a few guys that are on this therapy, and now we're following the state of Nevada guidelines, where they have to go to an endocrinologist and get a complete history before they start doing anything. I think you'll see less guys on it, because it's going to be harder to get that exemption.
MS: Something else Dana was discussing was testing every fighter who is signed before they get a contract, has that come into effect yet?
MR: Yeah, we make them take a complete drug screen, the same as they would on fight night. To be on ĎThe Ultimate Fighter' show, or to fight for the first time in the UFC, you have to be clean and test negative for all drugs.
MS: Has there ever been a situation where a fighter has failed a test, and the UFC has chosen not to announce it, or are all test failures made public?
MR: Any test when we self-regulate is made public. There is no grey area there. In my seven years we have probably had six or seven failures when we were self-regulating. We can't fine them, because it's our company, but we can suspend them, and we give punishments as if we were the state of Nevada. If a fighter tests positive when I'm self-regulating, and he won the fight, we take that win away.The issue of a TUE for TRT may come to a head for Vitor Belfort, who fights former Pride champion Dan Henderson on Nov. 9 in Goiania, Brazil. Belfort is currently on a doctor supervised TRT regimen, but is unlikely to get an exemption for it from Nevada, as he tested positive for PEDs back in 2006. One common side effect of steroid abuse is the body producing insufficient testorone, necessitating TRT. The NSAC hardly wants to reward abusers of PEDs with a sanctioned means to undo the damage they have done to themselve.
Belfort says he will stop TRT if necessary in order to get a title shot in Vegas vs. the winner of Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva,
"Iíve (been doing this) for three years," said Belfort as translated by Guilherme Cruz. "I did some exams and they saw I had low testosterone levels. The doctor said ĎVitor, we need to do something. I donít know if you agree with this, but itís important that you do it.í And it was done."
"If you has something, if you need something, do it the right way. Thatís what I do. I do blood tests all the timeÖ Itís a process that you have to do."
"Iíve already said that, if they agree with it, I would. No problem at all. If they want me to get there in a disadvantage, thatís ok.
"But they already told me thatís not the problem. UFC told me Ďyou canít get in there in disadvantage.í The thing is, Iím in normal testosterone levels with TRT. Thatís the treatment. People donít seem to understand that Iím the only guy that does blood tests. Many fighters donít do this, many use illegal stuff and are not tested like I am. Iím tested all the time. Week after week, month after month. I have to keep the levels normal to make it fair."