Can the UFC outright ban TRT?

For those of you not up to speed on the topic, the use of Camiseta Selección de fútbol de Camerún TRT is generally prohibited in sanctioned MMA as the use of testosterone replacement agents runs afoul of anti-doping regulations.  There is a concern, however, that athletes are abusing a Therapeutic use Exemption, and getting around this prohibition to get an unfair advantage.

In Canada and the US, regulated MMA normally falls under various state and Provincial Athletic Commissions.   These typically adopt or mainly mirror the world Anti-Doping Agency’s list of prohibited substances.  This, as a starting point, makes the use of TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy)  prohibited in sanctioned MMA.  The loophole, however, arises by something known as the TUE (Therpeutic use Exemption).  You can click here to read the general guidelines for obtaining such an exemption.

The TUE, in theory, exists when a “medication an athlete is required to take to treat an health problem or condition happens to fall under the Prohibited List, a Therapeutic use exemption (TUE) may give that athlete the authorization to take the needed medicine.“.  Such exemptions can and have been given by various athletic commission for TRT use in MMA.  (You can click here to read a persuasive medical argument as to why the TUE for TRT must not be used in the MMA context.)

While there are various solutions to TRT abuse, such as Camiseta Newcastle United a lot more detailed athletic commission testing, given Dana White’s voiced worries that using TRT is “cheating” and that he is “100% against TRT” a question worth asking is why doesn’t the UFC, or other MMA organizations for that matter, outright ban the use of TRT?

Article VIII of the UFC’s conventional fighter contract deals with “fighter’s conduct” and prohibits the use of “controlled or banned substances“.  This section can, in theory, be expanded to specifically prohibit the use of TRT in any circumstances. The stumbling block, however, lies in Human Rights Legislation.

In BC, to take one example, the Human Right’s Code prohibits discrimination in employment based on “physical disability“.  Such language is conventional fare in Human Rights legislation across Canada.  If a sporting organization disallowed therapeutic use exemptions, they would likely run afoul of the protections used by the Code.   One need look no additionally than Oscar Pistorius to appreciate that medical accommodation, supplied it does not give a competitive advantage, is the new normal in sport.

Appreciating that this would likely bar the UFC from imposing an across the board TRT ban, the option likely lies in testing.  One can hope that athletic Commissions won’t allow the wool to be pulled over their eyes when it pertains to examining TUE applications.  Subject to budgetary concerns, athletic Commissions can also impose more vigorous testing.  Budgetary concerns are a reality, however, and this leads to the last and probably best option – organizational testing.  There is nothing stopping the UFC and other MMA organizations from contractually mandating athlete testing.  They can be as vigorous as they want it to be.  If the UFC wants to weed out TRT abuse the power is in their hands.

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