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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Nate Marquardt’s Failed Medicals Centered Around Elevated Testosterone Levels

Nate Marquardt was replaced for his scheduled UFC on Versus 4 fight Sunday because of a failed medical exam. UFC President Dana White was upset with results and said Marquardt was out of the UFC. Marquardt kept quiet on the issue until Tuesday when he explained the nature of the failed tests on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani.

Marquardt said he failed his medicals because of elevated testosterone levels that were the result of hormone replacement therapy. Marquardt says he underwent testing last August after feeling sluggish during training and that tests came back saying he had low testosterone. His doctor recommended he go on hormone replacement therapy to correct the issue.

Marquardt said he worked with the UFC to handle the issue and figure out a plan that would allow him to receive hormone replacement. He says he was treated through the end of the year. Marquardt explained that when he fought Dan Miller he applied for therapeutic exemption in New Jersey and was approved. They asked him to go off treatment for eight weeks, take three blood tests, and then have an endocrinologist see if he needed more treatment. The blood tests came in and the endocrinologist wrote a letter saying he had low testosterone, recommending he go back on treatment.

After that, Marquardt returned to his doctor who said he should go back on treatment. At that point he was three weeks away from his fight with Rick Story (his fight with Miller was on March 19th). His doctor put him on a new treatment to get his levels back up, he was on it for two weeks, took a blood test, and the test came back high. That presented a problem because Marquardt needed his levels lower in order to fight Rick Story, so the doctor took him off treatment hoping his testosterone levels would be low enough to fight.

Marquardt was tested before the fight and it was learned his levels were too high. The high levels resulted in a suspension by the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission. Then the day of the fight he took another test and it came out well within the ranges, but he didn’t have his suspension lifted at that point. Now he’s been told he’s met requirements to be removed from suspension.

You’re probably wondering how and why Marquardt has low levels of testosterone. He’s not sure why, saying there can be a number of reasons, including genetics. He did say that in 2005 he took a banned supplement that affected his hormones, possibly leading to his low testosterone levels.

It should be noted that athletes who have used steroids and/or other performance-enhancing drugs often need synthetic testosterone injections to boost their levels again. Elevated levels of testosterone is what Manny Ramirez was busted for and what Lance Armstrong had in his alleged positive tests. Marquardt tested positive for a steroid before a 2006 fight.

While Marquardt has used steroids in the past, it appears as if he made a mistake that he’s been trying to fix. It’s not right if Marquardt has elevated levels of testosterone because that would give him an unfair advantage over the competition in fights. But as long as he has normal testosterone levels as the result of his treatment, he should probably be allowed to fight. He also says he’ll be going to a new doctor and he says he wishes he elected for a different treatment instead of the hormone replacement therapy.

Now the question is whether he’ll be let back into the UFC. One has to wonder why Dana White was so surprised by the failed test on Saturday. Given his level of anger, it appears as if Marquardt did not make him aware of the issue thereby ruining the show.

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