Is It Time for a Separate Division for Women With Positive Steroid Results?

Safety for women has always been a priority in MMA.

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With the announcement of the recent 14-month suspension for UFC bantamweight Ashlee Evans-Smith, we once again find ourselves asking whether it’s right for women who received an unfair advantage through testosterone use to compete against other women, or if this represents a safety concern. While advocates of steroid-abuser inclusion argue that by adjusting their hormone intake, a female fighter can return her body’s hormone levels to within the expected range and compete on a level playing field against their female opponents, what of the advantage she gained during that period of enhanced testosterone? Is that your idea of fair?

Now, don’t get us wrong, we’re not performance enhancerists. We respect that deciding whether or not to use artificial hormones to increase testosterone levels within your body is a personal choice, and we aren’t advocating for making confirmed steroid users fight again men. We understand the potential for this to happen by accident, with the woman in question having no say in her body’s previous higher-testosterone. But what’s wrong with starting a separate division for them? Are we suddenly bigots just because we care about protecting women?

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