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The following guest editorial was written by an MMATorch reader and professional MMA fighter that has asked to remain anonymous. With the debate continuing on about testosterone replacement therapy this week, he wanted to give his side of the story as someone undergoing said treatment and how he came about needing it. Here is his take:
Hello, I am a faithful reader and professional mixed martial artist. I am writing to address the TRT conclusions it seems most columnists & a majority of the MMA fans are forming based upon the biased opinions being posted about TRT.
First off, I'd like to say that I am absolutely against performance enhancing drugs. That said, I would like to see a more open minded approach to TRT before we burn everyone at the stake. I've noticed multiple articles in the time since Nate Marquardt came out with his TRT excuse for being removed from UFC on Versus 4 and I have noticed all sources are making this treatment look like the easiest way to cheat ever.
In my opinion, when it is abused to above normal levels, it is cheating. However, the idea that only young male boys with hormonal problems and old men are the only members of our society that are affected by this problem is asinine.
For example, I am 28-years-old and just recently found out that my cortisol levels are low, my testosterone levels are low and my adrenal gland is no longer working properly. There can be multiple reasons a healthy male can develop these problems. After many very expensive blood & saliva tests I found out that a wheat/gluten allergy had stressed my body along with many years of cutting drastic amounts of weight and the constant breakdown of my body in brutal preparation for many fights.
After all of the money spent I was told that there's a 50/50 chance that with time on the supplements to get my levels back to normal I may be able to wean off of the therapy. If I don't do this I will never be able to perform where a normal person could and I will be constantly sick from the effects on my immune system.
I think I and anyone else on these supplements should be monitored efficiently and constantly by specialists in this area, and our testosterone levels should never rise above normal (it's replacement, not an additive)!
People also have to remember, MMA is not just everyday wear and tear on your body and mind. We put our bodies into a stressed state at all times like no other athlete or person on the planet. If any one of you reading this has put in the kind of brutal damage to your body and brain (blows to the head) that a boxer or martial artist has, tell me after all that stress that you are normal.
I do think elevated levels should be punished because I don't want cheaters in my sport anymore than the next guy, but people should be educated about proper medical supplementation before they get out the tar and feathers on everyone undergoing treatment.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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