Wednesday, March 29, 2017
California commission halts TRT exemptions, though existing users still eligible
The California State Athletic Commission has put exemptions for testosterone-replacement therapy on hold until it can update its bylaws with a policy that could make the permission slip difficult to acquire.
CSAC Executive Director Andy Foster today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he won’t outright reject fighters who’ve previously received an exemption to use prescribed testosterone in California, but said new applications will be shelved until the regulations are changed.
“I’m not going to say no (to those who previously have been approved), but no new ones will be given out,” he said.
The policy, which was presented during a commission meeting on Monday in Los Angeles, outlaws TRT exemptions except for applicants with “irreversible, structural/organic hypogonadism.” In both the primary and secondary forms of the medical condition, the body fails to produce normal levels of testosterone.
However, the policy draws a line between the physiological changes in the body produced by an “organic” deficiency and “functional” forms that produce none.
Causes of primary and secondary organic testosterone deficiency include genetic, developmental and metabolic abnormalities; deficiencies caused by infections or disease; pituitary disorders; and traumatic brain injuries where the endocrine system is damaged, the policy states.
Functional causes of deficiency include emotional distress, obesity, overtraining, aging and alcohol excess.
“Organic defects are usually long lasting or permanent while functional defects are potentially reversible,” the policy states.
Among MMA fighters, there are at least eight documented users of TRT, one of whom headlines a major UFC pay-per-view this weekend. UFC 161’s Dan Henderson, who’s twice fought in the Golden State, has received an exemption.
Henderson recently advocated for Olympic-style drug testing in an interview with Yahoo! Sports.
The CSAC’s new policy also forbids women from receiving exemptions, except for female-to-male transgender fighters who follow a recently drafted transgender policy that’s also is in the process of being implemented. Earlier this year, the CSAC found itself in new territory with the case of transgender fighter Fallon Fox, who takes hormones as part of a sexual reassignment that took place in 2006.
All applications for TRT therapeutic-use exemptions are required to submit extensive medical documentation supporting their condition as well as undergo additional monitoring of testosterone levels before, during and after competition.
The CSAC has asked the state for an emergency option to be exercised so both the exemption and transgender policies could be implemented as soon as possible, Foster said.