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article imageUFC: Nate Marquardt breaks silence on failed medical clearance

By Andrew Ardizzi     Jun 28, 2011 in Sports
Former UFC fighter Nate Marquardt broke his silence regarding his failed attempt to gain medical clearance for his fight at UFC Live 4 on the MMA Hour radio show June 28.
Marquardt appeared on the show – hosted by Ariel Helwani – live on where he disclosed the circumstances leading to his removal from the UFC Live 4 fight card and subsequent firing from the UFC.
"Last year in August I was feeling sluggish and feeling horrible. My memory had gone out the window, I was irritable and I knew something was wrong. I felt like I was over-training when that wasn't the case," Marquardt said on the program. "I went to my doctor and he ran a bunch of tests and basically came back and said I had low testosterone. He recommended for me to go on hormone replacement therapy."
Marquardt said he took his personal physician's report to the UFC and talked to the proper individuals to discuss the best course of action going forward and at that point he went on the treatment until January 1, 2011.
"I got the fight with Dan Miller in New Jersey, we applied for the therapeutic use exemption from New Jersey (athletic commission)," he said. "They came back and said we're going to let you fight this fight, but we want to make sure that you need this treatment. Your doctor submitted some paperwork that seemed incomplete."
The fighter stated the New Jersey athletic commission wanted him to complete a series of tests after the Miller fight, such as going off the treatment plan for eight weeks and subsequently taking three blood tests. Those tests were then analyzed by an endocrinologist who was to determine whether Marquardt needed to be on hormone replacement treatment.
"I followed all the guidelines that they told me, I went off treatment, I took three blood tests," he said. "Once the results came back in, the endocrinologist wrote a letter that said I was a candidate for hormone replacement therapy."
After receiving the recommendation, Marquardt went back to his personal physician who decided he should resume treatment.
"At that point I was three weeks out from my fight with Rick Story and he basically said I needed to go on a more aggressive treatment plan because of the proximity to the fight," said Marquardt, adding his symptoms from August 2010 had returned and his doctor believed a regular treatment plan would not help the fighter feel better.
The fighter said he was on the aggressive treatment plan for two weeks until he took another blood test to see where his levels were, a test which came back indicating his testosterone levels were much higher than the accepted ranges put forth by the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission (PAC). The doctor recommended he come off the treatment immediately in an attempt to lower his levels before the fight.
"The week of the fight I requested several tests, each of which showed the levels were trending downward," Marquardt said. "I took a test on weigh-in day and it was still (barely) above the range the athletic commission had set out."
Lex McMahon – Marquardt's manager – reaffirmed that the fighter and his management team were completely transparent in supplying documentation to both the commissions and the UFC leading up to the fight, adding after Marquardt was removed from the card June 25 his levels had returned to normal levels and could have fought on the June 26 card.
"It's important to note that as soon as Nate was recommended to come off treatment he did come off treatment and did not take subsequent treatment to this day," McMahon said on the program.
McMahon stated by the time of the weigh-ins, with Marquardt still outside the accepted ranges, the commission decided to suspend him and told Marquardt he would be unable to fight.
As reported on Digital Journal, PAC executive director Greg Sirb stated Marquardt had been indefinitely suspended, conceding once Marquardt satisfied their conditions they would lift their suspension.
"The day of the fight I took another test and it showed I was well within the ranges," Marquardt said. "I did another test with one of the doctors from PAC (on Monday) and it went down even lower."
McMahon stated with the fighter's testosterone levels well within normal levels, all indications point towards Marquardt's suspension being lifted after the commission goes through its processes.
"It's important to note throughout this process that it's not like Nate did something and didn't communicate it. It's exactly the opposite. Throughout this process Nate was aware of what his requirements were, proactively communicated to the appropriate bodies what he was doing and before he was asked," McMahon said. "Nate was hiding nothing. This is a young man who made every effort to comply, he got caught in a difficult situation in terms of trying a new treatment suggested by his health care provider."
Although wishing to stay with the UFC, McMahon said it's up to the promotion, adding they quickly received offers from other organizations desiring to add one of the best fighters in the world to their roster.
Regardless, the fighter was apologetic for letting his fans, friends, family, team and the UFC down, wishing to have requested more frequent blood tests in order to have known of his heightened levels much sooner.
More about nate Marquardt, UFC, Dana white, Hormone replacement therapy, low testostorone levels
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