The Nevada State Athletic Commission is to review its policy on 'therapeutic use exemptions' - issued for otherwise prohibited medical procedures as testosterone replacement therapy - on Tuesday next week.
According to NSAC executive Keith Kizer the review is purely procedural and may result in changes being made, or none at all. But its timing is significant, as TRT has loomed large in the MMA news pages of late and has been causing controversy among fans and fighters alike.
On April 24 - one week after the review takes place - Alistair Overeem will be appearing before the commission to explain why, at a random test in March, his testosterone ratio was 14:1. The upper limit is 6:1. If he cannot convince the commission of a legitimate reason he will be denied a license to fight Junior Dos Santos for the UFC heavyweight title in May, which would be a disaster both for him and for the UFC.
But multiple sources have told Fighters Only that Overeem will be presenting the commission with evidence to show that he has been undergoing TRT himself. His team are confident that this is a waterright defence as he would not have been obliged to disclose TRT in March when tested; most such disclosures are made only when the license is applied for.
Overeem’s prescription and paperwork does not have to be from any US doctor nor does it have to be in English, which means it may take some time for the committee to decipher, but as long as all the right boxes are ticked he is in the clear and the fight with Dos Santos goes ahead.
Of course, NSAC might consider it strange that Overeem neglected to mention the TRT at the time the sample was provided - don’t be surprised if next week’s review of policy results in changes to the disclosure process required for therapeutic use exemptions, refining its more porous aspects.