Standard for granting Therapeutic Use Exemptions

Vitor Belfort

Vitor Belfort

Below is an excerpt from the  International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (ISTUE) (page 14). These are the requirements for being granted a therapeutic use exemption (TUE). The short version of the requirements for ISTUE: An athlete must experience a significant impairment to health,  the prohibited method would produce no additional enhancement of performance, no reasonable therapeutic alternative and prohibited method cannot be a consequence, wholly or in part, of the prior Use.


4.0 CriteriaforGrantingaTherapeuticUseExemption

A Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) may be granted to an Athlete permitting the Use of a Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method. An application for a TUE will be reviewed by a Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee (TUEC). The TUEC will be appointed by an Anti-Doping Organization.

4.1 A TUE will be granted only in strict accordance with the following criteria:
a. The Athlete would experience a significant impairment to health if the Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method were to be withheld in the course of treating an acute or chronic medical condition.
b. The Therapeutic Use of the Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method would produce no additional enhancement of performance other than that which might be anticipated by a return to a state of normal health following the treatment of a legitimate medical condition. The Use of any Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method to increase “low- normal” levels of any endogenous hormone is not considered an acceptable Therapeutic intervention.
c. There is no reasonable Therapeutic alternative to the Use of the otherwise Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method.
d. The necessity for the Use of the otherwise Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method cannot be a consequence, wholly or in part, of the prior Use, without a TUE, of a substance or method which was prohibited at the time of Use.

Why it is crazy that Vitor Belfort is granted TUE

It is not likely that any fighter in the UFC meet this standards for be granting a TUE. Vitor Belfort has been getting much attention for his TRT use. Vitor Belfort has been earlier been busted of steroids abuse, Vitor Belfort has been looking much stronger being on TRT, and his performances is better than ever. Vitor Belfort health isn´t in danger if he do not get TRT, it could easily be claimed that he benefits greatly from TRT and getting advantage over his competition, Vitor Belfort do not meet one single of ISTUE criterias for getting a therapeutic use exemptions. It is totally crazy that a athletic commissions in Brazil grants Vitor Belfort TUE. Vitor Belfort has applied for TUE for his next fight in USA, and it will be equally crazy if he get a TUE in USA. Athletes that put steroids in their body should not be fighting on high international. It has been said that Vitor Belfort is operating within the law. That is just partly true. He is operating within the law of Brazil, but he is far from operating inside international guide lines regarding TUE. If Brazilian fighters are allowed TRT, and for example an european fighter can not use TRT, then the UFC fighters will not have an equal playing field. If the UFC wants to be on the international stage, and respected for being a good sport, they must demand from their fighters to be on a international level regarding PEDs and TUE.
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