Anderson Silva has claimed he is in favour of the USADA programme within the UFC but feels that the company should rethink its approach to Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT).
The former Middleweight champion feels the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s presence is warranted, however, he thinks they should be more flexible.
TRT was banned by the UFC in 2014 after various controversies surrounded the practice of replacing testosterone. Many fighters used the therapy to help them recover from fights, and Silva believes it is vital to helping older fighters recover.
“There are some athletes who need to make use of the hormonal replacement,” Silva told YouTube channel Rap 77.
“I think if USADA regulated that, we’d have the sport at a high level, with athletes who have stopped fighting. Vitor, for example. Even me, though I never had the replacement.
“But some athletes who really need it, who are older. Dan Henderson, many other athletes who have stopped because of this.”
Despite having had suspension handed down as a result of USADA testing, Silva is still in favour of their presence but thinks that there must be a different approach to MMA compared to other sports.
“USADA’s entrance in the UFC to control the doping situation, the way I see it, was good,” Silva said.
“But, in a certain way, it ends up being a disturbance. Because MMA isn’t a regular sport like all the others. It demands from the athlete fighting training, physical training. There are other countless technical valencies that they have to maintain (like) injuries, etc.
“I’m in favor of doping control, for sure. I think no athlete should or can be, on fight day, taking advantage of some situation.
“But I think they need to review this. Because there are many injuries, many athletes getting hurt, many fights getting cancelled due to athletes getting injured, etc.”
“For instance, you take a Tylenol, you can get caught in the doping. You take aspirin, you can get caught in the doping.
“There are many things, many medicines that the athlete uses, that they have to always be policing themselves. … I’m not against USADA; I’m totally in favor, but I think there should be a certain (flexibility) when it comes to what is allowed and what isn’t.”