Former two-division Pride champion and future UFC Hall of Famer Dan Henderson was the first fighter to receive a therapeutic exemption for the use of testosterone replacement therapy in Nevada in 2007. On Feb. 27, 2014, the Nevada State Athletic Commission banned the use of TRT and discontinued the practice of granting therapeutic exemptions for athletes using the controversial treatment.
The 43-year-old Henderson was the last fighter to receive a therapeutic exemption for TRT in Brazil for his last fight at UFC Fight Night 38 on March 23. The Brazilian commission, like many athletic commissions, also banned the use of TRT following Nevada’s ruling.
During a recent appearance on AXS TV’s Inside MMA (watch video here), Henderson said that Nevada’s ban on TRT didn’t address the real problem of athletes abusing performance-enhancing drugs.
“I just felt maybe they weren’t as educated as they could have been on the whole TRT usage and didn’t tackle the real problems of people abusing. They’re going to abuse drugs no matter what. And these guys that they’ve already tested more than anyone else, they kind of dropped the hammer on them instead of across-the-board implementing random drug testing and no-advanced-notice drug testing,” said Henderson. “I feel like that’s the way to handle things and to really clean up the sport. To do what they did, it may be just being uneducated about it or (they) just don’t care.”
Henderson faces undefeated Daniel Cormier on May 24 in the co-main event of UFC 173 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Having gone through the training camp without the use of TRT, Henderson said he hasn’t noticed that big of a difference.
“I’m feeling pretty good. Maybe lay on the couch a little bit more than I used to. But I laid on the couch quite a bit before too,” he joked. “It’s all about making sure you train hard and train smart. And I did that before I was on TRT. I did during and now as well. I’ve won fights and lost fights with it and without it. I really don’t notice too big a difference competition-wise. But hopefully I make a statement that it doesn’t matter in this fight.”
While Henderson is hoping to make a statement against Cormier on May 24 that it doesn’t matter if he’s on TRT or not, he’s in a no-win situation. If he proves that he’s the same without it, then he never needed to be on it. If he doesn’t perform well, then it will be said it was because he was off of it.