This post will be pretty long, so those with short attention spans please bail out now.
The only arguments that hold any weight are exactly what budi is saying - "You should have to go out the old fashion way if your testosterone is declining" and a case where someone blatantly abused it(Like in chael's case [but let's remember chael has been on this stuff since he was a kid.. he supposedly was never on steroids, just born with a condition] where he was way over) but not to be confused with a case like Overeem's where it wasn't TRT, it was actually steroids.
When i think of TRT i think of testosterone. Not a HUGE pimply guy with no neck. There is a big difference. Extra test is only going to allow you to go harder in the gym and be more aggressive. It will NOT give you more stamina or more strength, THOUGH more stamina and more strength can be a result of being able to go harder in the gym, it is not a direct result of the therapy.
For example, if a guy was on TRT, but not working out or anything like that.. the only real effect it would have would be his sex drive and his attitude.
A guy taking steroids will gain weight and muscle without even working out. Absolutely not as much as he would if he was, but he still does have gains without putting any work in to earn it.
Agreed with a lot of what you said except for the bolded point at the end. Steroids DO NOT let you gain without working out. Have you ever seen a professional body builder or gym rat off season not working out? Bloated stomach, size of their peak muscle shrink dramatically. If you do it naturally, you can take time off and not lose as much size opposed to on the 'sauce'.
Taking supraphysiological testosterone or anabolic steroids by themselves will absolutely increase strength and muscle mass.
Here's a chart from a study
on healthy adult men taking either a placebo or testosterone, some of whom underwent controlled monitored weight lifting.
Here's what the difference from their starting point was after ten weeks:
Testosterone and no exercise regimen still resulted in very significant gains, though no where near as much as doing both.
Just because someone stops working out and loses gains made under steroid use and intensive exercise, doesn't mean steroids don't improve strength by themselves.
Also xxpillowxxjp, Sonnen didn't get diagnosed with hypogonadism until 2008.
And like I was saying, i wouldn't be surprised if the average ratio for fighters in the UFC was around 3, especially for the exceptional athletes and even more so for people like jon jones, silva, gsp, ect. that are premier athletes. So even if you are talking about a guy that is on it having some huge advantage of those who aren't, it probably is not so unless the fighter is abusing it during their off time and going over the 6:1 ratio. To me, it makes sense that the fighters on it would be at the very least be careful enough to stay around 4-5 in case of a random test and them popping anything over a 6. Therefore i think it is safe to say that for those that do not abuse it, are not nearly having such an advantage as it is made out to be.
I do believe there are fighters that abuse it, for sure. But if it is legal, then it is legal, and fighters should not be judged because they are allowed to do something that will boost their performance and until they do violate the rules. They shouldn't be treated indifferently from any other fighter.
To me it's like jones's knee kick, it might be "cheap" or "unfair" but he is allowed to do it and shouldn't be called a cheater because of it.
I doubt there's much difference in urinary T:E ratio (the thing that's actually being measured) in elite athletes and the population as a whole.
Your urinary T:E ratio isn't higher if your body produces more testosterone than a normal person. It's mainly dependent on your genetics, not genes that determine testosterone production, but genes that determine how much test or epitest is excreted in urine.
Different genes make proteins that act as catalysts in a reaction of (epi)test and glucuronic acid. The result is (epi)testosterone glucuronide which is excreted in the urine. There are a lot of genes that make proteins that catalyze the reaction and some do it better than others.
Properly used TRT and the use of banned PED's are two separate issues in my book.
Assuming that TRT is being used properly, and the recipient has their levels monitored and all that. My biggest concern is the extension of a fighter's career at the expense of their own health. I don't want everyone ending up like Mohammad Ali or Gary Goodridge.
I concur. The question is, "Who is doing the monitoring?" When Sonnen went to Texas and Illinois, they didn't monitor him at all. They never even got back to him when he requested a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for testosterone.
Granted, Texas and Illinois are two terrible athletic commissions, but even the best ones aren't that great. New Jersey let Nate Marquardt fight on TRT before their confirmation, then later denied him a TUE and didn't reverse his win. Pennsylvania was smart enough to test Marquardt's blood, but crazy enough that even after he failed they were going to let him fight if his levels were within normal for weigh-in. Nevada consults their orthopedist to grant TUEs.