California issues temporary TRT ban, will strengthen standards

I'm going back to Cali. Hmm, I don't think so.

Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

State athletic commissions around the country continue to wrestle with controversial testosterone replacement therapy. In the wake of Nevada’s decision to ban TRT, others are re-examining their own policies and procedures. 

In 2013, California began the process of adopting a new policy on TRT exemptions, announcing an intention to decline any new applications while honoring exemptions it had already approved in the past. No more.

On Thursday, commission executive officer Andy Foster released a statement that the state would enforce a "total ban" on TRT until it concludes its ongoing rulemaking process that will meet World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) standards for TRT TUE’s.

"This standard is so high that it is an effective ban except under the most extreme circumstances," Foster said in the statement.

WADA standards would require athletes who are already taking testosterone supplementation to stop medication for a sufficient time period to properly evaluate their true levels. The evaluation, which is to be handled by an endocrinologist, would include the athlete’s medical history, a physical exam and blood draws that would test total testosterone, free testosterone and other counts on at least two occasions in a four-week period.

UFC fighters including Dan Henderson, Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen have received TRT TUE’s in the past.

The UFC held three events in the state in 2013, running shows in Sacramento, San Jose and Anaheim. The promotion has not yet announced an intent to hold any fight cards in the state in 2014, but has held at least one show in the Golden State each year since 2009.