As one of several high profile MMA fighters who made use of the highly controversial Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) during their UFC career, UFC Hall of Famer and former Light-Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin recently took part in a Q&A with BostonHerald.com, and offered some deep insight in to his thoughts of the now banned performance enhancer.
“I did it, I think it’s great. When it started, I had two problems with steroids. One, they’re illegal and I’m doing illegal drugs. And, two, you’re telling kids, fans, young people that watch the sport you have to do drugs to do this. Well, that’s not true. The best guys don’t do drugs. Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, (Georges St. Pierre), these guys don’t use drugs, they’re naturally athletic. The best guys in any sport don’t use drugs. It’s the guys on the second tier trying to get to the first tier that use drugs.
I mean, I knew what I was doing. I knew that what I was doing is bad for my body in the long run, potentially, and I was doing what the doctor gave me, so it wasn’t crazy. But I mean, you now, there’s a chance (you can) enlarge your heart, enlarge your prostate, lose your prostate, not be able to (perform sexually) after 50 (years old). So I took that into advisement in doing that. But to me, being a better fighter was worth it. It was worth even shortening your lifespan to be good at something.
Here’s the other problem. Everybody says things like, “That’s like ‘blank’ on steroids,” and they say it like it’s a good thing — a way of saying it’s better than the original, or bigger. That’s stupid. What are you telling kids?”
TRT is well documented for giving fighters such a Vitor Belfort an impressive second wind in his career, however, the treatment was banned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission earlier this year, forcing a handful of fighters to either retire, or battle through without the treatment’s aid.
Griffin announced his own retirement prior to the ban, however, Chael Sonnen was one fighter forced to drop TRT in order to continue his career. Sonnen posted his own retirement recently having failed a random drug test due to substances that he explained were used to cycle off TRT, and HCG, of which aided the repair of his reproductive system so that he could have children.
“I’m not one to take Chael’s side often, but me and my wife were trying to have a kid, and I was on TRT for 20 months straight, and when I got off, I just got off. Then when I tore my knee, I just quit. I was depressed, down. I just wasn’t doing anything, and I didn’t notice because I was in so much pain. And also, I was just like, eating doughnuts every day, all day. Like ice cream for breakfast. That’s what I do when I get depressed. I remember how awful it was at one point. I would wait for my daughter to take a nap so I could drink some beer and eat doughnuts in the middle of the afternoon . . . But like, eight months later, I actually went (to the doctor) and I had like no sperm. My body never turned itself on, for like eight or nine months. And then I took HCG for three months, and then I was good to go.”
So, what advice did the original Ultimate Fighter have for those who wish to get the most out of their career?
“Spar less. Because you lose your chin sooner or later, and there’s no point in losing your chin in the gym for free. Just about everybody gets your trigger pulled, and once you get knocked out a couple times, you’re not quite the same.”