Brock Lesnar’s win over Mark Hunt at UFC 200 is in question after Lesnar reportedly tested positive for a banned substance.
The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said that Lesnar’s in-competition sample collected on July 9, the day of UFC 200, tested positive for the same substance as his out-of-competition sample collected on June 28.
According to ESPN, while neither UFC nor USADA have identified the substance, it’s believed to be clomiphene, the same drug for which Jon Jones tested positive and was kicked off the UFC 200 card.
According to MMA Junkie, clomiphene is a banned substance and believed to often be used in tandem with other performance-enhancing substances.
Yet Lesnar was able to fight, in part, because Lesnar also became the first fighter to receive a USADA drug-testing exemption from UFC.
In July 2015, the UFC enacted a new anti-doping policy that said any fighter coming out of retirement must undergo a four-month drug-testing policy before returning to competition. However, as ESPN notes, in the anti-doping policy, it states that an athlete may receive an exemption from this four-month period of testing “in exceptional circumstances or where the strict application of that rule would be manifestly unfair to an athlete.”
Lesnar, who had not fought in UFC since 2011, was treated not as an athlete coming out of retirement, but as a new fighter to UFC, since the new policy was not in place when he last fought. Due to the quick turnaround between Lesnar agreeing to the fight in early June and the fight itself on July 9, he was granted an exemption to the policy.
UFC released a statement on Lesnar’s second positive test, saying:
“The UFC organisation was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Brock Lesnar that his in-competition sample collection from July 9, 2016, at UFC 200, has tested positive for the same substance as his previously announced out-of-competition collection on June 28, 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 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.”
Lesnar has not yet responded to the second positive test. After the first positive test on June 28, Lesnar said, “We will get to the bottom of this.”
In light of the second positive test, Hunt has said he wants Lesnar’s $2.5-million purse from the fight. Hunt reportedly made $700,000 in the fight.
It’s not a great look for UFC, which just sold for $4 billion. If Lesnar had not been given the exemption to the four-month drug-testing period, he would not have been able to compete at UFC 200. Instead, the policy was waived and he twice tested positive but competed, and won, anyway.
We have reached out to UFC for comment.
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