Firing a preemptive strike leading up to his June 17 hearing before the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Vitor Belfort on Friday released a statement and a link to his Feb. 7 drug test results that have stirred a tremendous amount of controversy.
In anticipation of a May 24 fight with UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, Belfort submitted to a surprise drug test upon arriving in Las Vegas on Feb. 7, a test that he now admits reflected higher than acceptable levels of testosterone due to his testosterone replacement therapy regimen.
The Nevada commission a few weeks later banned TRT exemptions.
A short time after the ban, Belfort was removed from the May 24 bout, with both he and the UFC explaining that he needed time to adjust to life and training without TRT.
As for the test results, up until recently, Belfort and his legal team had deemed them irrelevant.
Wanderlei Silva, however, failed to apply for a license for his July 5 fight with Chael Sonnen, so the UFC wanted to insert Belfort in his place. With that change to the line-up at UFC 175, the results all of a sudden became extremely relevant.
The test results were expected to become a matter of public record anyway at the June 17 NSAC hearing, plus, UFC broadcaster Joe Rogan, a person who was likely to be in the know, recently stated on his podcast that Belfort’s testosterone levels for the Feb. 7 test were elevated.
As such, Belfort released the following statement, admitting to elevated levels in the test results, also explaining why they were elevated and providing further test results showing that he has since kept his levels in an acceptable range:
“In anticipation for my hearing before the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), I want to address questions concerning a drug test I took back on February 7, 2014, that was requested by the NSAC.
“At the time that test was taken, I was considering filing for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) from the NSAC. While I had not made formal application for a TUE, the NSAC nonetheless requested I take the test and I willingly complied. I further confirmed to the NSAC, in writing, the widely known fact that I was then presently on TRT and had been for many years leading up to that test and that I had further taken the TRT dosage recommended by my doctors the day prior.
“The results of the February 7, 2014, test indicated that my testosterone level was above the therapeutic range. While 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.
“Since that February 7, 2014, test, I have taken several subsequent tests, in late February, March, April and May, and the results of each test indicate my levels were either normal or below normal. To avoid any ambiguity, I am releasing, along with this statement, the results of all the test noted above and will provide the same to NSAC for their consideration as part of my licensing application. 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.
“Shortly thereafter, on February 27, 2014, the NSAC banned all TRT and I stopped my TRT treatment that very same day. Now I am applying for a license in Nevada. I don’t want any clouds hanging over my ability to compete and I understand it is my responsibility to prove to the NSAC that I have the requisite fitness to be licensed in Nevada.
“I truly appreciate and thank the Commission for considering my application, and I look forward to providing any information and answering any questions that the NSAC might have on June 17. And if the NSAC sees fit to grant my application, I look forward to fighting on July 5, 2014 in Las Vegas and again proving that I am one of the best fighters in the world.”
Click here to see the test results that Belfort posted: http://media.wix.com/ugd/d66b02_3b9aceb7091c46ed8d938dfb413c973c.pdf