Not to beat a dead horse but Nate Marquardt has been the number one story in the world of MMA. Whether you believe him or not the fact remains that he was released from the UFC for failing to get his testosterone into proper levels. Is hormone replacement therapy in the same boat as steroids? I’ll let people smarter than me argue that but it seems that the general thought is “yes.”
Marquardt released a statement yesterday that gives more detail to what exactly happened leading up to his dismissal from the UFC this past Saturday. Props to the always great website MiddleEasy.com for the find.
In August, 2010 I was diagnosed with very low testosterone levels. I initially went to a Primary Care Physician because I was feeling sluggish, lethargic, suffered memory loss, and felt over trained when I knew I should not have been. That physician placed me on a hormone replacement regimen after I consulted the UFC.
Prior to my fight in New Jersey in March, 2011 I was told by the New Jersey athletic commission that I would be allowed to fight, but I would be placed on suspension immediately afterward. The suspension was levied because the paperwork submitted by my Primary Care Physician appeared to be incomplete and the treatment regimen I was placed on was not within the standard of care, nor approved by, the USADA guidelines. I was told the suspension would be lifted once I had been off treatment for at least 8 weeks and pending approval from an endocrinologist that the HRT was necessary based off of several blood tests.
I complied with all the requirements of the New Jersey commission and stopped all treatments. During this process I kept everyone informed of my progress and my testosterone levels fell below the reference range. My previous symptoms of fatigue and lethargy then became worse. The endocrinologist that I was seeing recommended I resume hormone replacement therapy.
Based on his recommendation, my Primary Care Physician started a new treatment roughly three weeks prior to the fight in Pennsylvania that was more aggressive than before due to the close proximity of the fight. My Primary Care Physician administered treatment in an effort to get me to levels that would be appropriate for someone of my age and within acceptable limits for the fight. Two weeks after I resumed treatment I was tested to see where my testosterone levels were. These test results showed that my levels were high. I consulted my doctor who indicated I should stop treatment, which I did.
Looking back I should have been more diligent and ensured that my levels were monitored immediately after I resumed treatment to ensure that I was within the required limits. Coming into fight week I discovered that my levels were still high, so I had myself tested daily and communicated those results to the UFC and state athletic commissions. My test results indicated that my levels were trending down with each test. Unfortunately I did not meet their standards by weigh in day and was suspended.
The day of the fight I took a test and was told that levels were within the reference range. Yesterday (Monday, June 27th) I consulted with one of the doctors from the Pennsylvania athletic commission who administered another test, which showed that my levels had dropped even further. I have shared all test results with the Pennsylvania commission and spoke with them today and was told that it appears that I have satisfied all requirements to have my suspension lifted within the week.
It is important that we put my suspension in perspective. I was notified this past Saturday that I would be placed on suspension. This morning (Tuesday, June 28th) I was notified by the commission that it appears I have already satisfied the requirements to be removed from suspension. So in a little more than 72 hours the issues relating to my suspension have been addressed. This is one reason I waited a few days to address the public. I also did so in order to be with my family and friends and to collect my thoughts. I had just been fired from my job and embarrassed at not being able to fight on Sunday.
I take full responsibility for all of this. The Doctor was not fighting. The commission was not fighting. I was the fighter and I was the main event. I knew I had to be within their required limits to compete. This was my fault. I have hurt my fans, friends, and family. I have hurt Dana White and the UFC and I apologize. I’ve always had a great working relationship with the UFC and Dana White in particular.
I want everyone to know that I would never intentionally jeopardize my ability to provide for my family. I have two children and a third on the way. My family was with me in Pittsburgh. Of course it’s a nightmare and very stressful and unimaginable in certain instances, but at the same time, I lean on my faith in God and the support of my family. I still feel very blessed.