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Nate Marquardt cites elevated testosterone levels for failed medicals

Hormone replacement therapy forced Marquardt off of UFC on Versus 4 card

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Las Vegas Sun

Middleweight Nate Marquardt speaks to reporters at the Mandalay Bay Events Center Wednesday, February 3, 2010.

Nate Marquardt lived up to his promise of addressing the issues that caused him to fail his medicals and miss a scheduled main event bout at UFC on Versus 4 Tuesday morning.

Marquardt appeared on “The MMA Hour” on mmafighting.com and said high testosterone levels were the reason the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission did not clear him to fight in Pittsburgh. He reported his levels were beyond the limit because of hormone replacement therapy.

Marquardt began using the treatment a year ago, but circumstances forced his personal doctor to recommend a more aggressive approach in the weeks before a scheduled fight against Rick Story.

“Obviously, I upset the UFC and my sponsors,” said Marquardt, who was brought to tears during the interview. “I feel so bad for everyone. I just hope they can forgive me. That’s it. I’m trying my best to move on.”

The UFC cut Marquardt from its roster and President Dana White said he was “disgusted” with him for forcing the cancellation of a main event the day before the fight.

Marquardt said he turned to hormone replacement therapy last summer after doctors diagnosed him with low testosterone levels. He controlled the levels and was able to fight twice — a win over Rouismar Palhares and a loss to Yushin Okami — with approval from athletic commissions.

But before beating Dan Miller at UFC 128, according to Marquardt, the New Jersey Athletic Commission recommended he stay away from the treatment for eight weeks. When that time was up, his fight with Story was less than three weeks away and Marquardt took his doctor’s advice and received three shots of testosterone.

“There are things I messed up,” Marquardt said. “I have to take full responsibility.”

Marquardt said he took repeated tests for the Pennsylvania commission leading up to his fight and was optimistic the levels would get to an acceptable range before last Saturday’s weigh-in. When that didn’t happen, the commission placed him on an indefinite suspension.

According to Marquardt and his manager, Lex McMahon, his testosterone dropped enough to pass the test on the day of the fight. But that was too late.

“We knew Nate’s levels were dropping,” McMahon said. “We wanted to get those test results in. We wanted it to be where we sat down, we’d be in a position where we could say, ‘hey, the suspension is about to be lifted,’ which is exactly where we are.”

McMahon said he expected Marquardt to be off of suspension by the end of the week. Both expressed interest in fighting again soon, but it’s unclear what promotion Marquardt would be willing to compete in.

Asked if he was interested in appearing outside of the UFC, Marquardt couldn’t say definitively.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I just want to get through this process right now, get off of suspension and get the dust settled and find out where to go from there.”

McMahon found about Marquardt’s release the same way as everybody else — through a short video posted on White’s twitter account. He said having to break the news to Marquardt was one of the hardest things of the whole situation.

But Marquardt said he was somewhat prepared for it after encountering an angered White at the weigh-in. Marquardt said White asked him, ‘how could you let this happen?’

Both McMahon and Marquardt sounded hopeful that the UFC would afford the fighter another chance.

“He’s one of the best fighters in the world,” McMahon said. “Everyone knows that. It’s a travesty he’s not in the best promotion in the world right now.”

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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