Hormone Replacement Therapy At the Heart of Nate Marquardt’s Removal from UFC on Versus 4 Card

June 28, 2011
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Hormone replacement therapy was at the heart of the reason behind Nate Marquardt being pulled from the UFC on Versus 4 main event on Sunday in Pittsburgh.

Marquardt revealed the news when appearing on the ‘MMA Hour’ on Tuesday.

Following the events from the weekend in which Marquardt was pulled from his scheduled fight with Rick Story and subsequently released from the UFC, he spoke candidly about the situation.

According to Marquardt, he was feeling moody and tired and after seeking a doctor’s medical advice, he was diagnosed with low testosterone and started therapy in August 2010.

Marquardt stated that in March 2011 when he fought Dan Miller in New Jersey that the athletic commission there allowed him to fight after filing papers for a medical exemption for the testosterone replacement therapy.

The therapy continued for Marquardt following the fight and his levels of testosterone spiked. Essentially, leading up to the weigh-ins on Saturday, he was still not cleared because his tests were still coming back too high.

Since the weekend, Marquardt stated that his testosterone levels have continued to drop and as of a test on Tuesday he believes he’s met all the requirements necessary to file the paperwork with the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission to have his suspension lifted.

Executive Director Greg Sirb told MMAWeekly.com on Tuesday stated that they are still reviewing the information.

“We are still in the review process,” Sirb stated. “There is a lot of info to look thru and we want to make sure everything is picture perfect.”

The situation surrounding Marquardt escalated on Saturday when he still hadn’t met the requirements. UFC president Dana White, shortly after the weigh-in, released him via a video released via Twitter.

Marquardt’s manager, Lex McMahon, found out about the release from the message and then passed along the information to his fighter.

Marquardt said he ‘half expected’ to be released following the situation, but he was hopeful to get a second chance with the promotion at some point in the future.

Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
@DamonMartin on Twitter or e-mail Damon a question or comment.

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  • Duxan1

    So, that’s how they call juicing now – hormone replacement therapy.

  • BigGuy

    Marquardt & Sonnen have come up with a new name for old, dirty shit!


  • msgodric

    so, if Dana was aware of his “hormone therapy” why was he soo shocked and discusted?? i get moody and irratable once a month.. guess i need hormone therapy.. well we all know roid users become angry and Rage .. what about that WWE superstar riod freak who murdered himself and his family.. roid rage… none of the public believe your BS Nate..

    • bputtmann

      A pre-meditated murder suicide that takes place over a 2 to 3 day period does not constitute as “roid rage”. His despicable actions probably had more to do with the fact that his brain resembled an 80 year old Alzheimers’ patient’s due to the punishment it took from the entertainment business that the ignorant call “fake”.

      Everyone is quick to point fingers at “steroid users” when most people don’t even understand the advantages, disadvantages or how many professional athletes take some sort of performance enhancing drug. You are blind if you think that the handful of guys that have been busted for it are the only ones on it. I’ll promise you that a good majority of your and my heroes are doing the exact same things.

    • ShockednAwed

      Hey, dude, it’s not like anybody cares what any of us on here actually say, but at least get your shit straight. Chris Benoit (the WWE Superstar you’re referring to) was exhumed so his brain could be examined, and it was proven his brain was very badly damaged due to years of unchecked head injury.

      If you really and truly believed Satan (or whatever you believe to be like that) was coming for your family and the only way to save them was to kill them (and I mean you really believed it, like you believe the sun will rise tomorrow), you can’t say what you would or wouldn’t do. That’s what brain damage is all about.

  • Duxan1

    One thing I don’t understand is why he was juicing up while cutting weight? Roids typically increase the muscle mass, don’t they?

  • Duxan1

    And another thing is, how the hell did he pass the juice test 3 times since he allegedly started his “therapy’???

    • New Jersey was aware he was on it. As long as his testosterone levels fell within the acceptable range he was good to go.

      I doubt he was tested in Texas or Germany. I wonder if he let the Texas commission know he was on it though.

      • Duxan1

        Things are starting to make sense now. He juiced up till February or March, had his fight in March and then stopped juicing as he needed to drop weight. That’s why his levels were not extremely high.

  • I listened to the interview and he painted a pretty plain picture. I think he left a lot the details out.

    On a side note, it is interesting that he fought three times (Palhares , Okami and Miller) while on this “therapy” and that Zuffa was aware he was on it. I wonder if Texas tested him or if he made them aware he was on it. He said the UFC was in charge of testing in Germany but I didn’t hear if he was tested or not. And New Jersey ok’d him and even made him go through an additional battery of tests (post fight) and he fell within the levels necessary to be authorized HRT.

    It seems like HRT is not an uncommon practice and the only time we hear about it is when someone makes some sort of error in it’s administration. I wonder how many other fighters are on it. I’ve long heard rumors that Couture was on it.

    We’ll likely never know who is/was on it because of the privacy laws regarding medical records.

  • ShockednAwed

    Gotta admit, I’m just confused by this now… I’m guessing Dana et al didn’t think the treatment was a good idea, because this could happen, and that’s why they’re so pissed?

    Cuz if they were all for him getting the treatment, and this is like an unfortunate thing that’s happened, I’m not sure that’s entirely fair.

    And now, just to completely prove my ignorance; isn’t testosterone, the male hormone, the one that makes you moody? Wouldn’t you prescribe someone feeling moody estrogen (the female hormone) to calm them down? Or, when it says he was feeling ‘moody’, does it mean mood-swingy? Lots of waterworks over nothin’??

  • MrAdidas

    I think some of you are missing the point here, what Marquardt did WAS NOT illegal. Marquardt went through the proper channels to get the “increase testosterone” injected into his system, like Sonnen did b4 the Silva fight, you have to disclose all informations in regards to whatever treatments you are on, taking or have taken which will show up in their bloodwork. Had Sonnen filed the proper paper work b4 the Silva fight, he wouldnt of been suspended, which is why he only got 6 months for not filing proper documentation & NOT b/c of using “roids”, like alot of you fools ASSume.

    The UFC knew what Marquardt was doing & they were fine with it, but I think the reason… well (IMO) I believe the UFC/Dana are so pissed off b/c Marquardt knew 6 weeks prior to the fight that his levels were high, but he didnt do enough, soon enough, to fix the high levels. I guess Marquardt ASSumed he would be fine come fight night & well he wasnt, so maybe thats the reason why Dana was so pissed off, b/c the whole situation was “preventable” had Nate attempted to bring the levels down sooner, rather than later. Thats what I gather from all of this!

    Who knows for sure?!?

    Though I’ve seen some fighters do ALOT more than this & they never got fined, let alone suspended. Just goes to show that the UFC/Dana White has his favorites & he has no problem(s) helping them out, any way he can.

    • Darren2112

      good read until the end. I dont get your conclusion about Dana’s favorites.

      Nate messed up the main event due to his stupidity, thats why he got fired.

    • Duxan1

      Buddy, you are making a big ASSumption here saying he did everything legally. Legal intake won’t take your testosterone level through the roof. It is supposed to restore healthy levels if they appear to be low. Marquardt simply used his doctor as a cover-up. This is very common amongst athletes.

  • Hey Damon, do we know if Nate took a urinalysis that was administered by the Pa. athletic commission? I think that’s what this whole thing is about. I think Nate refused to take the urinalysis for the commission and that’s why they suspended him indefinitely and why Dana canned him.

    Listening to Nate’s interview with Ariel today, Nate referenced several tests he took to measure his “levels”. He said his levels were slightly above the authorized amount on weigh-in day and would have dipped into an acceptable range on fight day. He never said who administered the tests.

    Yesterday Gregory Sirb (executive director of the PA. AC) said that Nate did not fail a drug test. He also said that Nate was licensed about a week prior to the fight and the only thing he still needed to do was pass the all the requirements of the medical exam and he’d be set to compete.

    Only way for him not to fail a Pa. commission drug test when (by his own admission) his levels are high would be for him to not take the test. Not taking the test = indefinite suspension.

    • phrankthetank

      In addition. Not taking the test = indefinite suspension that can be reinstated upon taking and passing the test. Taking the test and failing = 1 year suspension.

      • Exactly what I’m thinking.

        I remember Nick Diaz going AWOL a year or 2 ago when the CSAC was trying to get him to take a urinalysis. The whole thing eventually blew over but he ducked out because he couldn’t pass the test.

        • phrankthetank

          That’s immediately what came to mind for me too

  • Well from my understanding when I talked to Greg Sirb, Nate just needed to submit the proper documentation supporting the fact as we know now that his testosterone levels were back in line within range for the fight. The testing he did that week still showed elevated levels so he was not able to be licensed. It wasn’t really about a pre-fight drug screen…I believe PA only requires tests for things like HIV and Hepatitis in regards to blood work for pre fight testing. The reason PA was requiring this info was because the NJ commission notified them due to his status in that state. I did contact Texas to find out what they were told, and they are looking into it and I should have an answer on Wednesday.

    • Thanks for the feedback.

    • phrankthetank

      I appreciate the fact you are following up and doing due diligence. Great journalism and I am eager to hear what you find out.

  • Just seems like we’re missing something here.

    • jmat13

      your just a punk. plain and friggin simple. you gotta free chael simble? he didn’t only use roids and got caught but was guilty of all kinds of other illegal stuff. at least he would take the piss test. every fighter in the ufc and any other organization has to pass a urinalisis before and after every fight. nate was a pussy and bitched out. thats it no argument. bj penn will wiegh in at 168 and put on a show without cutting anything. nate is a punk and i’m glad he’s gone from the sport. same as cheal cuz he’s a fuckin punk to….poser….

      • ShockednAwed

        Pretty sure Bus was using that pic for his avatar long before Sonnen’s issues came along, cuz I remember wondering what Chael needed to be freed from. Turns out Bus was just psychic.

        Nate wasn’t “a pussy who bitched out”, whatever the fuck that actually means, he knew he wouldn’t pass, so he didn’t do it. Makes sense. He knew the consequences, too, and seems to be accepting those.

        The only issue left, to me at least, is whether it’s fair to fire the guy – and that, to me, depends on what the UFC knew and had endorsed prior. I’ve got no doubt White thinks he’s in the right, you can tell that from the video.

        • jmat13

          was a pussy and didn’t take the test. yes he messed up and couldn’t cheat to pass it and decided to just not take it. if you would like me to use another word other than bitch than gimmie one. i will substitute. he should be fired and is a very bad black spot on a sport that does everything it can to make it acceptable to the very same people who are gonna jump on this…sorry i used profane language..

          • Someone forgot to take their meds. LOL

            Run along and let the adults have their conversation.

  • tsszaltax

    Its not as if testosterone injections is a bad thing anyway, at least in regards to ones health. For the rules, obviously its an issue, but it seems as if he had the proper paperwork to be able to get them. All the quotation marks around “levels” and “therapy” isnt all that necessary. Men have low testosterone levels and the common treatment for that is indeed….testosterone injections and therapy. Is that much of a surprise? Its quite common in the medical field. Even females take them sometimes to increase sex drive. More people then you think get these injections so to pretend like he’s taking them to gain some kind of athletic advantage is rather humorous to me, unless you call a deeper voice and hairier chest an advantage in MMA.

    • tsszaltax

      Now that I think about it…Forrest Griffin is one hairy monkey…and he’s pretty good….hhhhmmm, maybe we’re on to something!

      • Duxan1


  • Just read an article that had some info from Nick Lembo (NJSACB legal counsel). He says Nate failed a NJ test in June (3 months after he fought Dan Miller) so they (New Jersey) elected to deny his therapeutic use exemption (retroactively). New Jersey then forwarded the test results and exemption denial to the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission.

    It also said that Nate was getting his levels tested every day at a Pa. area hospital and voluntarily submitted the results to the PAC, who told him that he would not be allowed to fight if the levels exceeded the commission’s cutoff.

    On the day of weigh-ins, Marquardt was still over the limit, and Sirb made the decision to not clear him medically.

  • omcclave

    OMG I can’t believe nate tried pulling that BS move that its medical. Ask any doctor what is the quantifiable amount is to concluded having low testosterone. There answer will be there is none right now on the books. Nate saying he had low testosterone is about as legit as Nick Diaz saying that he needs medical cannibus to combat his adhd. If you don’t believe me go to an anti aging doctor and tell them you have mood swings. They will take a sample of your blood show you a chart and say that there going to prescribe hormone therapy to correct the imbalance. Its a load of shit. All nate was doing was doping semi legally. Are you really going to stand there and tell me a top ranked cage fighter has low testerone

    • Duxan1


  • Does this mean the Miller fight will be ruled a no contest?

    This subject is making my head hurt.

  • Kuch

    Nate Marquardt is a nice guy and a decent fight but his last few fights have been forgettable. Add to this situation that this stunt ruined a main event fight the day prior to the event, and I tend to think just about any promoter, no matter how charitable, would be pissed. Plus, there are three sides to this particular story; Nate’s, Dana’s, and the truth.

    This hormone replacement therapy is just another way to cheat that the athletic commissions haven’t closed the loop on yet. I’m not saying there aren’t legitimate cases of fighters needing it, but when an otherwise healthy athlete in his mid 30s is getting it, it points directly towards previous steroid use. Basically, right now fighters are allowed to walk around with elevated testosterone levels throughout training (which should give them an edge) but just need to be within the limits at fight time. Doesn’t that sound strange?

    • Nevada is supposed to resume their “off season” testing program. They initiated the program a year or two ago but ran out of money. The program just got additional funds.

    • ShockednAwed

      “I’m not saying there aren’t legitimate cases of fighters needing it, but when an otherwise healthy athlete in his mid 30s is getting it, it points directly towards previous steroid use.”

      I think you’re right.