DOPING IN MMA

Tired of hearing so much nonsense on both sides!

The list of fighters picked up in anti-doping tests is not small. In most cases due to the use of steroids, but it is very likely that most fighters will use GH, due to its difficult detection by tests. It is also likely that fighters will use other peptides, mainly to help with injury recovery. The use of prohormones is also a possibility. There are Designer steroids, which are structurally engineered anabolic steroids, specially developed by chemists for athletes to be undetectable by current anti-doping tests (eg, tetrahydrogestrinone, or THG).

Like testosterone and GH, the use of stanozolol, oxandrolone can be common, since they are drugs with a very short detection time (oral ~ 3 weeks). Many fighters were caught using stanozolol and masteron (detection time: 2 months). The use of diuretics in addition to helping with weight loss, helps to mask the use of other drugs by speeding up their elimination in the urine. In general, athletes can use diuretics in a single dose a few hours before a competition (ie fighters or sportsmen for the purpose of masking) or chronically abuse them for months (ie gymnasts). It is important to note that the diuretics most abused by athletes (furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide and triamterene) have a short half-life and are therefore undetectable in the urine if samples are not collected within 24-48 hours after the last administration.

The evaluation of illegal testosterone use is based on the urinary testosterone: epitestosterone ratio, with the 6: 1 ratio (in some places 4: 1) being the upper limit of legal cut. Since testosterone is not immediately converted to epitestosterone, the exogenous use of this drug increases the ratio. Some athletes inject epitestosterone before drug testing to try to mask the exogenous use of testosterone. The counter-proof of this strategy is that concentrations of epitestosterone greater than 200 ng / mL are considered evidence of manipulation of epitestosterone. In addition, short-lived forms of testosterone (aqueous testosterone) can raise testosterone concentrations for just a few hours, after which the testosterone / epitestosterone ratio returns to baseline. Detecting the use of testosterone represents a significant challenge for doping control laboratories.

Anyway, abuse of steroids is not a smart strategy, for two very clear reasons, the fighter needs to reduce his weight (most need to lose more than 10kg easily), and the fighters also cannot suffer from the hormonal crash after suspending the use. Lowering a lot of weight using anabolic steroids is not very simple, and depends on the individual response. Even worse for the fighter would be to have a great loss of performance after stopping the drug. Fighters cannot abuse anabolic steroids, because they are drugs that are easier to detect in anti-doping tests, and they must avoid the negative effects of the hormonal crash on the nervous system and the loss of strength. This may also explain why many of the fighters who migrated from Pride (where there were no tests, as far as I know) to the UFC did not achieve the same performance in the fights. We can easily quote Wanderlei Silva, Maurício Shogun, Mirko Cro Cop. Prolonged steroid abuse negatively influences the neural adaptations generated by training after discontinuing use, and this recovery can take a long time.

The use of steroids in a controlled manner (without abuse) in conjunction with testosterone and GH (or just both) would be a more effective way to keep the fighter in high performance. This caused many fighters to use the prerogative of TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) to stay in great shape (Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen), when it was still allowed by the athletic commissions. Here in USA the lack of anti-doping tests allows fighters to constantly abuse steroids.

Some fighters have physicists that resemble those of bodybuilders, Cheick Kongo and Touquinho are good examples. Even if they use hormones (like Touquinho that was caught in 2012 for the use of testosterone), I have no doubt that they are athletes who have a great genetic potential for gaining muscle mass. Precisely because they are fighters who have stable physicists for many years and need to pass several anti-doping tests. It would be very difficult to maintain such a physique just using peptides (we know that GH alone is useless in that sense) for a person who does not have the same genetic potential. Just as keeping the physique with a lot of muscle mass and low fat percentage for a long time without using high steroid doses is very difficult, and these fighters have high level physicists on the day of the fight, just at the time when anti-doping is most likely to happen. They may be on steroids often, but hardly in abuse.

Contrary to what many may think, drugs are not used often to give a great advantage in the strength of the fighter, but to maintain performance in training and facilitate recovery (hence the great appeal of GH), due to the great appeal requirement of training of these athletes. Without drugs, these athletes would not be so different, they just optimize the great genetic potential and talent of these athletes (but it makes a lot of difference to break records). The best fighter is certainly not the one who makes the most use of drugs, nor does bodybuilding work like that, but the athlete with the most talent, the most complete. In athletics this is very clear, in the 1930s the record for the 100m dash was 10.3-10.2 s (the steroids had not been synthesized, neither GH or EPO), while in the 90s this record reached 9.9-9.8 s. A small difference that could be attributed to the drugs, but also the evolution of the training, in any case a small difference. Regardless of the use of drugs or not, both Usain Bolt or Lance Armstrong, certainly must be recognized as the most talented athletes in their modalities.

A short list of famous cases (there's a lot more):

Chael Sonnen (2x) - testosterone (2010); GH, HCG, EPO, anastrozole (2014)
Stephan Bonnar (2x) - masteron and boldenona
Wanderlei Silva- refused to take the test (2014)
Brian Bowles- testosterone (2013)
Antônio Silva Pezão- testosterone (2013)
Cris “Cyborg” - stanozolol (2012)
Touquinho- testosterone (2012)
Rafael Cavalcante Feijão- stanozolol (2012)
Alistair Overeem- testosterone (2012)
Muhammed Lawal- masteron (2012)
Thiago Silva- fake urine sample (2011)
James Irvin- epitrenbolone (2010)
Josh Barnett- masteron (2009)
Royce Gracie- nandrolona (2007)
Hermes France-masteron (2007)
Sean Sherk- nandrolona (2007) - fought with Hermes France
Nate Marquardt - nandrolona (2005)
Thiago Alves - Spironolactone (2006)
Tim Sylvia-stanozolol (2003)

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