The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) informed UFC heavyweight Brock Lesnar of a potential anti-doping violation.
The amateur and professional wrestling champion pounded Mark Hunt in a decisive victory at UFC 200 that witnessed Lesnar employ takedowns and strikes from top position to win his comeback fight after more than four years away from the sport. But popping positive on an out-of-competition drug test may cost the 39-year-old two years in the sport and effectively end any hopes of continuing that comeback.
The UFC posted a statement on Friday addressing the development:
The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Brock Lesnar of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection on June 28, 2016. USADA received the testing results from the June 28, 2016 sample collection from the WADA-accredited UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory on the evening of July 14, 2016.
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case. It is important to note that, under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full fair legal review process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. The Nevada State Athletic Commission also retains jurisdiction over this matter as the sample collection was performed in close proximity to Lesnar’s bout at UFC 200 in Las Vegas.
Consistent with all previous potential anti-doping violations, additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.
The bad news comes on the heels of the UFC potentially losing another one of its main box-office draws, Jon Jones, for failing a USADA-administered test. Lesnar called the light heavyweight submitting a dirty sample “unprofessional” when asked ahead of UFC 200. Now the former UFC heavyweight champion finds himself in the same situation as the former UFC light-heavyweight champion.
USADA awarded Lesnar an exemption from the normal four months of testing that fighters returning from retirement receive before resuming competition because his tenure with the UFC preceded the organization’s current testing regime. The group tested him five times ahead of his bout with Mark Hunt. Should Lesnar’s in-competition test also come back dirty, he likely loses his “W.” In Lesnar’s final UFC fight before initially retiring, he lost to Alistair Overeem, who retained his victory over the South Dakota-born behemoth despite coming up positive on an out-of-competition test for performance enhancers.
Hunt, who criticized USADA for issuing the exemption before the fight, now demands half of Lesnar’s purse or his immediate release from the UFC.
“The cheaters get a slap on the wrist and walk off,” the Super Samoan told MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani. “What penalty or deterrent is there to make them think twice? Nothing. And the [Nevada Athletic Commission], why should these [expletive] get anything? They are not the ones who had to fight with Lesnar or lose [to him]. I lost.”
Lesnar scoffed at notions that his power and physique came unnaturally when journalists inquired before UFC 200.
“I’m a white boy and I’m jacked,” he told the media. “Deal with it.”
USADA, apparently not satisfied with taking his word for it, did just that. They dealt with it. Now Lesnar does, too, perhaps by permanently returning to professional wrestling.