The UFC 200 hits keep on coming. From Conor McGregor to Jon Jones to Anderson Silva, the sport’s milestone event has had a rotating door of drama – one that hasn’t stopped turning more than a week later. Indeed, Brock Lesnar, who defeated Mark Hunt in his first UFC fight since December 2011, tested positive for a banned substance on June 28 and could face a two-year suspension.
This is, without question, bad news for all parties involved.
“Well, when a fighter comes out of retirement, they are subject to USADA testing for about four weeks before they’re cleared for active competition,” FS1 UFC commentator Jon Anik explained on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “There is a little pill in the deal that for a guy like Brock Lesnar, if the situation would be manifestly unfair to the athletes, they can waive that four-week window. In Brock Lesnar’s case, unfair (means) financial. He was going to make all this money, so they waived that exemption for him. He passed three tests allegedly and then on June 28th he popped for a substance to be determined.”
Lesnar, 39, has issued a statement saying he intends to get to the bottom of this issue.
“If the athlete doesn’t come out and specifically state what the substance is, then USADA keeps that information quiet until there comes a time when it is made public and they go from there,” Anik said. “So as far as the penalty, he could be staring at a two-year suspension. I think a lot of people are jumping to the conclusion that he’ll never fight again because this is a black eye on his comeback.”
Failing a drug test is an issue in any sport, especially UFC.
“To me, it’s just disappointing because it’s not like you’re defending a rim or a goal; you’re defending your face,” Anik said. “So if somebody is trying to get some sort of advantage in a combat sport, I have a major problem with it. We got to give him the benefit of the doubt because we don’t know if this was a supplement or if it was something that was masking something else. But just ugly, man. There are a lot of stains on UFC 200 and obviously this is the biggest and worst one, I think, so far.”
Lesnar’s failed test, of course, came right on the heels of Jones’ failed test. Jones, who was slated to fight Daniel Cormier, was removed from the card just days before UFC 200.
First Jones, now Lesnar. Isn’t this a black eye for the entire sport?
“I think it depends how you look at it,” Anik said. “A lot of guys like me, who have been in the sport almost a decade now, were calling for them to clean up the sport because it certainly was unfair to a lot of fighters who felt like, ‘Gosh, man, do I got to do PEDs to win a UFC championship?’ All of us knew it was going to get worse before it got better, (but) they didn’t expect guys like Jon Jones and Brock Lesnar and a bunch of big names to pop in advance of big shows. I think you got to clean it up, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better. These are just some of the bumps that we have to deal with. But clearly whatever USADA is doing is working because high-profile names are popping. Even a guy like Brock Lesnar, who was only tested over the course of the month and was clean three times, still popped on June 28 for something.”