Hector Lombard not sympathetic towards former users of TRT: 'Cheating is cheating'

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

DALLAS -- It didn't take long for Hector Lombard to throw his two cents in after Vitor Belfort's removal from UFC 172.

Following the announcement that Belfort lost his middleweight title shot to Chris Weidman due to the Nevada State Athletic Commission's late-February ruling to ban testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), Lombard tweeted in reference to the Brazilian, "He can do all things thru TRT that strengthens him."

At Wednesday's UFC 171 open media workouts, Lombard, who fights Jake Shields on the event's main card, stated that while his comment was meant to be "nothing personal" to Belfort, he still holds no sympathy for former users of the controversial treatment, even those like Belfort and Chael Sonnen whose professional fighting careers may be dramatically impacted by the NSAC's ban.

"Well there you go. If those guys don't want to fight anymore, it's for a reason, right?" Lombard said. "It boosts you up, it makes you stronger, it makes you faster. Your immune system goes through the roof. You can train four times a day. You don't get tired. If you're 40, you feel like 20. That's the way it goes.

"It's kind of like if you buy a Ford from the dealership. They don't come all boosted up," Lombard added. "Then you put extra horsepower and stuff like that, and you go like 120 miles an hour quicker. So it is what it is. Cheating is cheating."

For Lombard, the NSAC's ban on TRT, in a way, hits close to home, as the 5-foot-9 welterweight has faced countless PED accusations in the past due to his thickly muscled physique, yet has been forced to idly watch as other fighters received legal exemptions for testosterone with ease from state commissions.

"It really bothers me because the way I look, you can check my career, I've always been 185 and I've always been this way (muscular)," Lombard said. "It's never been like you can see me puff up and go up in weight and go down. I've always been that way, and then after one day, everyone criticize. They say that I'm taking stuff.

"I was in the Olympics, and they used to do random testing. Like, every other week they would come and check you out. When you're feeling strong and you've got extra horsepower, you performing stronger."

In the eyes of many, the NSAC's decision to ban TRT, while surprising, was only a first small step towards cleaning up the sport of mixed martial arts.

Now, Lombard simply hopes that state athletic commissions throughout the country continue to pursue what is still, by all accounts, a pervasive issue, starting ideally with the general protocol of state commissioned drug tests.

"I also believe they should check while they're doing the testing," Lombard said. "Because you can go and buy something from somebody else and fake it, because they actually don't check. They don't check you (during the test). I would love that if they're checking you so there's no changes (in the sample) made. There's no, ‘hey, go there for nothing.'

"Just give me your (sample). That's what people want."

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