By: Anthony Roberts
This is probably the weirdest example of sports doping that I’ve seen in recent years:
Nate Marquardt, a mixed martial artist, was allowed to fight at UFC 128 in New Jersey. At that time, he was going through the process of obtaining a therapeutic use exemption for his testosterone replacement therapy. Still with me? So The New Jersey State Athletic Commission Board let’s Marquardt fight on the proviso that he be tested before and after his fight (vs/ Dan Miller). Here’s where it gets weird: After the fight he needed to actually stop taking his prescribed testosterone and get retested eight weeks later. So the theory here is that within 8 weeks, ifprescription wasn’t necessary, his testosterone levels would register as normal. Let’s forget the fact that he could have easily beat the test by taking an anti-androgen (which isn’t tested for).
But still, this is a pretty draconian method of enforcement – to force someone off a prescribed medication to see what happens when they go off. Imagine if they did this with other medications? Hey, stop taking that albuterol you need for your asthma attacks, and get on this treadmill….we’re going to see if you survive…
So he fights, then he goes off his ‘script for testosterone. As it happens, the post fight testing returned a low enough hormone level to justify his prescription. And then he gets disqualified anyway. Why? Because he went through his personal physician for the prescription instead of an endocrinologist. So even though he needs testosterone replacement therapy, and had a valid prescription, he was DQ’ed because of the type of doctor who prescribed it (apparently the state it was prescribed in does not recognize all doctors as being able to administer hormone replacement).
So he needed the drug, it was prescribed, and he used it as recommended, but was still disqualified: “yeah, you need this drug, and yeah it’s medically necessary, but f*ck you because you went to the wrong type of doctor.”
At some point there needs to be a modicum of common sense injected into the current sports doping policies and procedures of professional and amateur athletics – or law-abiding athletes with a genuine need for hormone replacement are going to be fighting at a disadvantage. Literally.