Vitor Belfort admitted Friday that he failed a surprise drug test given to him by the Nevada Athletic Commission in February because his testosterone levels were outside of the legal limits, even for a person with a Therapuetic Use Exemption (TUE) for Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT).
Cagewriter first reported earlier this week that the results would be made public at Belfort's licensing hearing in Las Vegas on June 17. Belfort pre-empted that by releasing the results himself on Friday.
TRT has since been effectively banned in MMA. In his statement, Belfort said that he tested high but that soon after, his doctors adjusted his dosage to bring him within allowable limits and that after TRT was banned, he stopped using it altogether.
Belfort also said he has taken several subsequent tests later in February, March, April and May. Belfort said those tests showed him to have normal or lower-than-normal testosterone levels. He did not say who administered those tests or who paid for them.
Belfort tested postive for steroids after his 2006 fight with Dan Henderson in Nevada.
The Brazilian had openly used the previously allowed TRT for years but pulled out of a scheduled title fight against Chris Weidman after TRT was banned in Nevada later in February.
Belfort is scheduled to replace Wanderlei Silva against Chael Sonnen July 5 but has not fought in Nevada since 2011 and is not currently licensed by the commission.
Belfort has a hearing June 17 in front of the NSAC at which point he will make his case as to why he should be granted a fighting license and allowed to fight Sonnen in July.
Belfort's full statement is below:
“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.”