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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Several reports in the last couple of weeks have stated that Alistair Overeem is expected to use a testosterone replacement therapy defense for his elevated T/E ratio when he meets with the Nevada State Athletic Commission on April 24. However, that may not ultimately be the case when the hearing takes places next week.
In comments made to HDNet's Ron Kruck on Inside MMA, Overeem's manager Glenn Robinson says Overeem has a "reasonable explanation" for his ratio of testosterone-to-epitestosterone being off as much as it was. That may not be due to testosterone, as NSAC executive director Keith Kizer has now said in multiple interviews that he doesn't believe TRT will be Overeem's defense.
Speaking with CagePotato.com, Kizer said Overeem's camp has not said anything regarding the need for a therapeutic use exemption, and while they could still present that argument, he doesn't believe that's what it will be.
"They’ve asked for no additional testing," Kizer said. "I have talked with Overeem’s attorney and that issue has not been raised. He has not indicated what [Overeem's] defense will be, but he has not said to me, as I'm sure he would have if he was using it, that [Overeem] is on TRT. That is not to say that they could not still make that case and ask for a therapeutic use exemption for TRT, but if they do, I'd be as shocked as the next person. We'll all see what they do when April 24 comes around."
"This is a lot different and a lot tougher [than Overeem's last licensing hearing] come April 24th. What happened [before] is going to be very relevant. But the biggest relevancy to the commission's decision this time will be what happened in March."
For what it's worth, Overeem's brother Valentijn spoke with MMAJunkie.com, and said he had no knowledge of his brother needing testosterone.
"Because I know him so well that I think I should be aware of something like that," Valentijn said. "If that was the case, I think I would know. I would be surprised."
"There are different reasons why someone could have high testosterone. Taking steroids is one of them. Some people have natural testosterone at a high level anyway. I'm not saying my brother is one of those people, but there's more possibilities. If the [athletic commission] tests the sample again, just to make sure there were no mistakes, I think that would be a good start."
Penick's Analysis: I don't believe a TRT excuse was ever going to fly given Overeem's history, and if that's not the route they're taking I honestly have no idea what this "reasonable explanation" will be. He was tested multiple times over the last several months, and has been tested many times in the past as well, without that ever coming up. Additionally, there's another problem with an attempt to claim that this was legitimate and not due to any exogenous testosterone: they didn't have the "B" sample tested. If they try to claim there was no synthetic testosterone in his system (which is the NSAC's automatic stance with the ratio at 14:1), the NSAC will then grill him on why he then didn't try to get that proven with a carbon-isotope ratio test. Had he gotten the "B" sample tested with the CIR test, it would prove whether he had synthetic testosterone or not. By not getting that test done to try to clear himself before this hearing, I honestly don't see how they have a "reasonable explanation" for the elevated ratio.
[Alistair Overeem art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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