Vitor Belfort admits failing random test due to elevated testosterone level
JUN 06, 2014 1:11p ET
In a statement released less than two weeks before he is slated to appear before the Nevada athletic commission, UFC middleweight Vitor Belfort has finally confirmed what was suspected all along: the results of his surprise Feb. 7 drug test came back with elevated levels of testosterone.
According to a test processed by LabCorp in Phoenix and released by Belfort, his serum testosterone level was 1472, well above the "normal" cutoff of 1197.
Belfort, who will meet with commission members on Jun 17, released his admission on a post through his Instagram page, saying that he didn't want to have "any clouds hanging over my ability to compete."
Belfort, his attorney Neil Tabachnik and UFC president Dana White had all previously dismissed the results as "not relevant."
However, Nevada athletic commission chairman Francisco Aguilar told FOX Sports back in March, just weeks after Belfort was pulled from a title fight with Chris Weidman, that the results of that test would become public if Belfort ever decided to apply for a license in Nevada.
With his public disclosure, Belfort (24-10) likely hopes to temper the reaction of his upcoming licensing hearing, in which he hopes to obtain permission to face Chael Sonnen at UFC 175 on July 6. A win could earn a middleweight title shot for Belfort, ranked No. 1 among divisional contenders.
"The results of the February 7, 2014 test indicated that my testosterone level was above therapeutic range," he wrote. "White levels slightly outside the normal therapeutic range are not uncommon for some undergoing a TRT regimen, and my doctors immediately modified my therapy to return me to within the therapeutic range (as you can see the 22nd February test results was normal), I do want to acknowledge that the February 7, 2014 test indicated my level was above the range."
The 37-year-old Brazilian was first acknowledged to be a testosterone replacement therapy user in Feb. 2013, just after knocking out Michael Bisping in the first of three straight head kick KO's. He would later publicly say that he had been on the therapy even prior to that, although no commission has publicly confirmed that he was granted an exemption for the therapy.
TRT was eventually banned in Nevada in Feb. 2014, and Brazil quickly followed suit.
In his statement on the matter, Belfort said he has taken several tests since February proving his testosterone range has been either normal or below normal, and promised to release all of the results from the tests both to the public and the commission, which he later did through another social media post.
"I further welcome any additional testing that the NSAC deems appropriate and necessary with respect to being granted the privilege of a license to fight here in the State of Nevada," he wrote.
Belfort faces additional scrutiny not just because of his recent test result, but also because he previously failed a test for banned performance-enhancing drugs in Nevada, testing positive for 4-hdroxytestosterone in Oct. 2006 and drawing a nine-month suspension.