• UFC Live

High testosterone caused Marquardt's medical failure

ESPN staff
June 28, 2011
The Nate Marquardt scandal

A tearful Nate Marquardt has revealed that he failed his medical examination at UFC Live because his testosterone levels were too high.

The former UFC middleweight had to make a last-ditch withdrawal from Sunday's main event, leaving opponent Rick Story to face Charlie Brenneman, and the UFC without the main fight of the evening.

President Dana White subsequently axed Marquardt, stating that he was "disgusted" with the American, urging him to "man up" and tell the truth, whilst promising he would never fight in the UFC again. White also stated everybody would understand his decision when the truth became known.

A full four days after Marquardt failed his medical examination, he finally broke his silence on Tuesday, telling the MMA Hour that he had been on Hormone Replacement Therapy.

Marquardt said he had been on the treatment since August 2010 after feeling "lethargic", insisting he had been in constant contact with the regulatory commission at all times.

However, three weeks out from the Story fight, Marquardt stated his doctor recommended a higher dose of testosterone, because his count was lower than it should have been. Marquardt claimed a regular treatment would not have had his levels back to normal in time for the fight.

The result was Saturday's pull-out, with Marquardt's testosterone levels still too high and above the legal limit for fighting.

"I was not medically cleared because of a situation I've been dealing with since August. Last year, I was feeling sluggish and my memory had gone out the window. I was irritable," said Marquardt. "I knew something was wrong. Felt like I was over-training when that wasn't the case.

"I got the fight with Dan Miller in New Jersey (last year), where I applied for a therapeutic use exemption. They came back and said they would let me fight this fight, but they wanted to make sure that I needed the treatment. They said my doctor submitted paperwork that seemed incomplete.

"They wanted me to go off treatment for eight weeks, take three blood tests and have an endocrinologist examine them to make sure I still needed treatment. The endocrinologist wrote out a letter that said I had low testosterone and I was a candidate for hormone replacement therapy and that I should go back on treatment.

"[My doctor] said [therapy] wouldn't make me feel better by the time of my [next] fight [with Story] unless we did a more aggressive treatment. So I was on the treatment for two weeks and I took a blood test, which is normal throughout treatment to make sure you're in normal ranges. That test came back high. At that point, my doctor said I should go off treatment and hope that I was down to normal levels. At that point, I was panicked."

Marquardt claims his level was narrowly over the legal limit on Saturday, and that he would have been able to fight had the test been done on Sunday.

"The week of the fight, I requested several tests. Each test showed my levels were going down. I took a test on weigh-in day, and it was still above the range that that commission was going to let me fight," said Marquardt. "At that point, I was told that I was going to be put on suspension. The day of the fight, I woke up and took a test. That test came back well within ranges. I took a test with a doctor from the commission yesterday, and it had gone down even more so.

"It's a nightmare. It's very stressful. At the same time, I lean on my faith in God, and my wife has been so supportive. I'm such a blessed man. I want to apologize to the fans. I feel like I let them down. I feel like I let my family down, and I obviously upset the UFC and my sponsors. I just hope everyone can forgive me. I'm trying my best."

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