In a decision set to make a major impact in the sport of mixed martial arts, the Nevada State Athletic Commission unanimously voted to ban the use of testosterone replacement therapy.
The commission, which governs the UFC events held in Nevada - home of the UFC's headquarters, and host state of multiple UFC events in Las Vegas each year - has ruled that fighters will no longer be able to apply for therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) to receive TRT treatment to artificially raise their testosterone levels.
The treatment was used by a host of UFC fighters including Dan Henderson, Frank Mir and, most notably, Vitor Belfort, who will now have to fight Chris Weidman for the UFC middleweight title at UFC 173 without the aid of artificial testosterone.
Belfort was expected to apply for a TUE ahead of the bout, and many were expecting the application to be discussed at length by the NSAC, given the fact that Belfort tested positive for elevated testosterone in the state back in 2006.
That discussion will no longer be necessary, however, with NSAC commissioner Skip Avansino's proposed ban on TRT being unanimously voted into immediate action.
Here on BT Sport, we featured a discussion on the topic of TRT on this week's episode of UFC: Beyond the Octagon, and also spoke to UFC president Dana White about the controversial topic (TRT segment from 2:13).
The UFC have responded swiftly to the ruling, confirming they will impose a similar ban on TRT for events where they act as the governing body.
A statement from the UFC read: "The Ultimate Fighting Championship fully supports the decision made today by the Nevada State Athletic Commission regarding the immediate termination of therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
"We believe our athletes should compete based on their natural abilities and on an even playing field. We also intend to honor this ruling in international markets where, due to a lack of governing bodies, the UFC oversees regulatory efforts for our live events.
"We encourage all athletic commissions to adopt this ruling.”
British middleweight Michael Bisping hailed the ruling, saying that it effectively meant he now only has one loss on his record.
So TRT is now officially banned in Nevada. U could argue I only have one loss on my record. After I beat Kennedy I want my shot at the title— michael (@bisping) February 27, 2014
Two of Bisping's defeats came against fighters who have received exemptions for TRT, Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort.
Bisping's upcoming opponent, Tim Kennedy, was equally emphatic in his praise for the decision.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission banned testosterone. It is a great day for the sport. I hope all states follow suit. #TRT— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) February 27, 2014
Former UFC middleweight contender Brian Stann, now an analyst in the States, tweeted his backing.
Very happy to see TRT banned, absolutely a ridiculous idea to start with and a major factor of my personal retirement from fighting— Brian Stann (@BrianStann) February 27, 2014
But, bringing a lighter view to the topic, Boston-based lightweight Joe Lauzon was concerned it might lead to the future banning of his own particular substance of choice.