UFC and WWE Star Brock Lesnar Popped for Potential Anti-Doping Violation
Well, it looks like the Brock Lesnar comeback story has just been derailed: the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Lesnar of a potential doping violation resulting from an out-of-competition drug test. This, less than a week removed from Lesnar’s victory over Mark Hunt via decision at UFC 200, in what was not only Lesnar’s first fight since 2011, but also his first fight since announcing retirement from MMA in 2015.
“The UFC organization was notified today that [USADA] has informed Brock Lesnar of a potential anti-doping violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection on June 28,” the statement read. “USADA received the testing results from the June 28 sample collection from the [World Anti-Doping Agency]-accredited UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory on the evening of July 14.”
In a statement to The Associated Press, Lesnar simply declared, “We will get to the bottom of this.”
With UFC having only learned about this yesterday, we at least know why Lesnar was still allowed to fight at UFC 200. Standard USADA protocol is to put a positive test through several layers of scrutiny before confirming the positive test result publicly, although one would think the preliminary result really ought to have come in earlier than a week after the fight.
At the moment, USADA has not disclosed the cause of the potential violation. But what makes this all the stranger is that Lesnar was granted an exemption from USADA’s usual policy of four-months of testing for any fighter looking to come out of retirement.
As a result of the failure, Lesnar might have to forfeit between 50-75% of his purse for UFC 200, which could factor into the millions, especially if his pay-per-view bonus is included in that number.
Of course, the drama doesn’t stop there, as Mark Hunt has given UFC an ultimatum: he wants half of Lesnar’s $2.5 million guaranteed purse, otherwise, he demands to be released from his contract, effective immediately.
“The cheaters get a slap on the wrist and walk off,” Hunt said in the interview with MMA Fighting, after news of Lesnar’s violation first broke. “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.”
What makes this all the tougher for Hunt is that he was criticized for implying Lesnar was on the juice, with Lesnar himself going as far as to famously declare, “I’m a white boy and I’m jacked. Deal with it.”
That said, if the anti-doping violation stands, well…sure, Hunt will be vindicated, but UFC will essentially be without two of its biggest draws, as Jon Jones was flagged last week for an anti-doping violation. In fact, they could be losing three draws if they don’t pony up the dough to keep Hunt from leaving. And I would argue Hunt deserves some compensation, provided Lesnar is confirmed to have used PEDs, since he would have been accepting considerable risk by stepping into the Octagon with a fighter using PEDs.
I suppose we’ll see, but this is huge, especially since this could affect Lesnar’s ability to perform at WWE Summerslam in New York next month, considering the state of New York is among the few that still regulates pro wrestling. This is wild.