Against Doctors recommendations, Shane Roller fights on without TRT - MMA Forum - UFC Forums - UFC Results - MMA Videos
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Old 06-24-2012, 08:47 PM   #1 (permalink)

 
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Against Doctors recommendations, Shane Roller fights on without TRT

From MMAJunkie

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Less than a year after obtaining permission to use medically prescribed testosterone, Shane Roller decided that changes to his diet and training are, for now, a better choice while continuing his fight career.

"I'm training a little bit smarter," he told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I'm ready to go compete, but I'm getting my body ready in a different way."

The endocrinologist who helped Roller get permission believes he needs the hormone to compete. Roller, though, has serious misgivings about its use.

He recently informed Nevada State Athletic Commission officials that he won't maintain the therapeutic-use exemption he obtained from them in June 2011, less than a month before he fought Melvin Guillard at UFC 132.

"I see what happens with the guys who have done it and abused it, and I don't want to be in that category at all," he said.

The 32-year-old Roller (10-6 MMA, 1-3 UFC) suffered a devastating knockout loss to Guillard, and following two subsequent defeats, could be fighting for his job when he meets veteran John Alessio (34-15 MMA, 0-4 UFC) on the FX-televised preliminary-card of UFC 148, which takes place July 7 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Roller, who's 1-3 since transitioning from the now-defunct WEC to the UFC, understands the stakes of his upcoming fight. Yet he believes the benefits he experienced undergoing testosterone-replacement therapy (TRT) are far outweighed by associations to fighters who might be using testosterone to gain an unfair advantage.

"If I didn't think there was a chance to be put in that group, I would definitely be on TRT," Roller said. "But I don't want to be viewed as a cheater ever so I backed off, and I'm trying to find other ways to keep my levels up."

Roller recently informed the NSAC of his decision after the commission prompted him to send in pre-fight medical paperwork for next month's bout. His doctor then sent a letter to the NSAC stating that he needed TRT but hadn't undergone treatment since February.

So far, he said things are going well in training camp.

"I don't know whether my levels are high or low right now, but I just listen to my body a little bit more than I have in the past, and I feel good," Roller said.

Roller said even when he was taking testosterone once daily via a topical cream he tested in the low-normal range for an adult male his age. He added that team members regularly tested his levels to ensure he didn't exceed the normal limit.

"I think one time I tested above 500 (nanograms per deciliter)," he said.

He was prompted to seek treatment following a submission loss to Anthony Pettis at WEC 50. Several weeks before the fight, he felt severe fatigue during and between training sessions and "was like a zombie" after workouts. During a visit to a family practice doctor, his testosterone was measured at 350 nanograms per deciliter. But a subsequent visit to an endocrinologist brought back a level of between 150-175 nanograms per deciliter, and he was recommended for TRT.

"I was kind of shocked," he said. "I was 31 years old. But one of my managers was reading up on it a lot, and he said it happens to gymnasts when their diets change. It kind of makes sense with how hard I was training for a couple of my fights. Probably my age had something to do with it. I was 31 trying to train like I was 20, and I think that had a lot to do with it."

Roller said during the camp for Pettis, he had severely cut his fat intake while believing he needed to stay lean during camp. He said he recovered better from workouts not long after beginning the treatment, and no side effects were noticed.

"But as far as performance in my fights, I couldn't tell a big difference at all," he said. "It wasn't anything I felt super good when I was doing it. I just felt a little bit better during recovery."

Roller submitted blood tests and medical documentation to the NSAC and was granted a therapeutic-use exemption prior to fighting Guillard. He said his testosterone levels were tested before and after the fight. In his next two fights, he provided the same documentation to athletic commissions in Washington D.C. and Illinois, and underwent additional testing.

He decided early this year that he would discontinue his TRT use.

"If you're taking it right and doing what your doctor is saying, they should never be prescribing to where you'll test out of range," Roller said. "There are guys that are doing that. There are guys taking regular steroids, which is the same thing. They're taking regular steroids and cheating, so people are going to get caught that are doing it."

After hiring a dietician to monitor his diet prior to fights, Roller believes he's on the right path. But should he experience prior symptoms, he may reconsider using TRT.

"I believe that I need it, from my doctor's standpoint," he said. "But training right now, I'm feeling good. I'm excited for this fight and I'm ready to go.

"I don't know if I made the right decision or not. I guess we'll see."
Kudos to Shane for not being tempted to go down that route, TRT, he's obviously seen the backlash and got pro-active about finding an alternative option.

TRT if needed is fair enough, and we see Roller needs it. But to not fall into the easiest, more controversial solution is commendable.
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The great thing about TRT usage is that it's a lifelong subscription. Isn't it great that these doctors are giving them out like hotcakes? Almost makes you think a little...
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The thing that stood out most for me in that article is when Roller said that he could not tell any difference in his performance in the fights.

I don't know why fighters are so keen on taking TRT given the harmful long term side effects, which include lowered natural testosterone production, when it doesn't even help you all that much in the octagon.

It's still cheating to me, but because having good technique is so much more important than physical strength and endurance it's a wonder why these guys are trying to get the slightest edge at the cost of their long term health.

Good for Roller for getting off it.

The UFC needs some higher profile fighters that are all natural to openly speak against it like Shane.

TRT is really shady and it's use is not a good image for the UFC or it's fighters.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The thing that stood out most for me in that article is when Roller said that he could not tell any difference in his performance in the fights.

I don't know why fighters are so keen on taking TRT given the harmful long term side effects, which include lowered natural testosterone production, when it doesn't even help you all that much in the octagon.

It's still cheating to me, but because having good technique is so much more important than physical strength and endurance it's a wonder why these guys are trying to get the slightest edge at the cost of their long term health.

Good for Roller for getting off it.

The UFC needs some higher profile fighters that are all natural to openly speak against it like Shane.

TRT is really shady and it's use is not a good image for the UFC or it's fighters.
Most of its benefits are experienced in training.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I want everyone to just get on it so there is no more bitching about unfair advantages.
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Its ridiculous that guys who are in their mid 30s say they HAVE to use it as they can't recover as quickly anymore... WELL NO SHIT SHERLOCK, a 35 year olds body wont recover the same as a 25 year olds, it's not unfair it's just life. The solution is just to work that little bit harder, didn't do Randy Couture any harm.
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Much respect... In reallity, no one with morals is going to respect a UFC Champion who is on TRT. Everyone knows they just cheated to get their.
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Much respect... In reallity, no one with morals is going to respect a UFC Champion who is on TRT. Everyone knows they just cheated to get their.
If Hendo beats Bones then I see no issue. 41 is pretty damn old.

and Randy was definitely taking something, maybe not TRT but he had his remedies.
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