Just 10 days after the most publicly accepted draw of all time at UFC Fight Night 33 on Fox Sports 1 between Mark Hunt and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, the UFC has announced that Silva has failed the post-fight drug test.
According to UFC officials, Silva tested positive of elevated testosterone levels and will be suspended for nine months. To make matters worse for “Bigfoot”, the UFC has ordered the Brazilian to forfeit his $50,000 fight of the night bonus which will now go to Hunt.
Silva claims that this should not be considered a failed drug test because he has a doctor’s prescription for testosterone replacement treatment (TRT). Silva is not the first, nor the last fighter that has a doctor’s clearance to use TRT. Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson are two popular fighters that openly use the treatment, but their levels are never higher than the required level during their pre or post fight tests.
This raises the question: Should TRT be allowed in competition even with a legal prescription? It seems that even if these fighters do have a problem producing the normal amounts of testosterone that they have an unfair advantage in being able to the TRT. Over time, males stop producing the same amount of testosterone as they did when they were in their 20’s. So it seems to me that for some of these guys, like Belfort and Henderson, who have competed in the sport for many years and who’s body can no longer produce these high levels of testosterone, have the upper hand on the younger guys with much less experience.
Have you ever thought to yourself, “Man, if I could go back to high school and know everything I know now, I would be so much better at my sport I played, or in my academics, or even at picking up girls.” Well essentially, this is what these guys using TRT are doing. They are taking all their years of experience and now that they are at an age where their bodies are no longer working like they did when they began their careers, doctors are giving them the tools to turn back the hands of time and perform at that high level.
Maybe I’m just old school, but I feel like the rule on using certain substances should be on a level playing field. If they are going to allow it, then let everyone use it but if they want to suspend and fine guys who use it then ban it for everyone. Why can’t young guys with normal levels of testosterone take it? It’s not their fault that their bodies can produce normal levels and the old guys can’t. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way advocating using banned substances, but I am saying that if some things are banned, then ban them for EVERYONE.
Antonio Silva is planning on suing Dr. Marcio Tannure, the medical director of Brazilian MMA athletic commission (CABMMA), who was the one who told Silva that his levels were low and that he should take a shot per week to get his levels where they need to be by fight time.
Only time will tell who is telling the truth, but for now one thing is clear; the best fight of the year now has a black eye (no pun intended) and I for sure will be looking elsewhere for my end of year award for fight of the year.
Tell me your thoughts on the use of TRT on the comments below. Also, don’t forget to cast your vote for your end of year awards.