Testosterone replacement therapy is becoming an increasingly common practice in MMA, yet, there are still a lot of questions surrounding the controversial procedure’s legality in the sport. UFC middleweight Mark Munoz certainly isn’t a fan of TRT, and he shared his thoughts during a recent interview with Spencer Lazara.
“It’s cheating. I think it’s cheating,” Munoz said. “I think anything that’s synthetic that you put in your body is cheating. Get it from food, get it from training. That stuff jacks you up when you’re done. For me, I’m a family man, I have kids, I have a wife and I want to be there for them at the end. I think when you take PEDs or anything like that, it cuts your life short. When it becomes like that, it’s almost hedonistic. It’s not a sport anymore. It becomes more than a sport and it shouldn’t be like that. … If people think I’m on drugs or PEDs or whatever, come train with me. I’ll show you my drugs. There’s no substitution for hard work.”
Even though TRT is a legitimate medical procedure that can increase the quality of life of those with abnormally low testosterone levels, there is no question many MMA fighters abuse the current system. When being administered medically, TRT is designed to bring the patient’s testosterone to natural levels, so it doesn’t really excuse the abnormally high levels MMA fighters like Chael Sonnen and Alistair Overeem got in trouble for.
Without a doubt, testosterone levels can play a factor in the outcome of an MMA fight, as the hormone helps increase energy levels, bone density and muscle mass. However, TRT does have its share of harmful side effects.
There might be a few MMA fighters who truly need TRT, but its usage should be policed a lot more thoroughly. Fighters who undergo TRT should be constantly monitored by the sanctioning bodies in MMA, so it can be verified that they’re not training or fighting with abnormally high testosterone levels.