The two skidding heavyweights meet at the Prudential Center on Saturday night in support of two championship bouts: Renan Barão vs. Urijah Faber for the bantamweight belt and Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas for the featherweight strap.
The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, which oversees sanctioning for UFC 169, informed MMAWeekly.com of the exemption on Wednesday.
“Frank Mir has been licensed and medically cleared by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board (NJSACB) for UFC 169,” said NJSACB counsel Nick Lembo. “Typically, the NJSACB does not discuss medical matters or drug testing. However, in this case, Mr. Mir himself announced that he received a TUE for TRT for this event.”
Part of the NJSACB’s reasoning for issuing Mir a TUE was because of prior TUEs that he was issued by the commissions in Nevada and Wisconson.
“Please be advised that we have chosen to honor the TUEs for TRT for Mr. Mir already granted by the states of Nevada and Wisconsin. Those records were provided to this agency,” said Lembo.
The NJSACB didn’t blindly honor those exemptions, however. It set forth specific requirements for Mir leading up to UFC 169 and continuing beyond the event.
“Upon application in New Jersey, Mr. Mir was required to be seen by a board certified endocrinologist at a major medical institution for this particular exemption for this particular fight,” Lembo continued.
“He has been, and will continue to be monitored via blood, hair and urine testing well prior to the event, near the event, pre bout, after the bout, and well after the competition date.”
The issue about whether or not to allow therapeutic use exemptions for TRT in mixed martial arts has been coming to a critical juncture. It has been a hot-button issue for the past couple of years, and the Association of Ringside Physicians recently issued a statement recommending the elimination of TUEs for TRT:
“The incidence of hypogonadism requiring the use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) in professional athletes is extraordinarily rare. Accordingly, the use of an anabolic steroid such as testosterone in a professional boxer or mixed martial artist is rarely justified. Steroid use of any type, including unmerited testosterone, significantly increases the safety and health risk to combat sports athletes and their opponents. TRT in a combat sports athlete may also create an unfair advantage contradictory to the integrity of sport. Consequently, the Association of Ringside Physicians supports the general elimination of therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy.”
Regardless of the fallout from the discussion about whether or not TRT should be allowed for athletes, Frank Mir will be allowed his TUE for this weekend’s fight with Alistair Overeem.