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UFC responds to Brock Lesnar USADA queries

Brock Lesnar

One of the big questions regarding the Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt fight at UFC 200 is the USADA drug testing procedure.

When the procedure was first announced, a policy to avoid a fighter announcing his retirement, going on PEDs, only to then come out of retirement was addressed with this passage in the policy:

"An athlete who gives notice of retirement to UFC, or has otherwise ceased to have a contractual relationship with UFC, may not resume competing in UFC bouts until he/she has given UFC written notice of his/her intent to resume competing and has made him/herself available for testing for a period of four moths before returning to competition.  UFC may grant an exemption to the four-month written notice rule in exceptional circumstances or where the strict application of that rule would be manifestly unfair to an athlete."

While Lesnar has said he's talked about returning for three months, he was not on the active roster and has not been drug tested. Zuffa stated Tuesday that because Lesnar last competed in 2011, long before the USADA policy was in place, he's being treated as a new athlete just signed to the promotion for the purpose of the policy and not as a fighter who retired, was no longer being tested, and then decided to return.

Lesnar only signed to face Hunt on Friday, the day before the announcement. There had been a delay in finalizing the deal because Lesnar required permission from WWE to do the show.

In response to our question on this subject, UFC said the following:

"On June 6, 2016, UFC heavyweight Brock Lesnar was registered by USADA into the UFC Anti-Doping Policy testing pool. As part of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, UFC may grant a former athlete an exemption to the four-month written notice rules in exceptional circumstances or where the strict application of that rule would be manifestly unfair to an athlete. Given Lesnar last competed in UFC on December 30, 2011, long before the UFC Anti-Doping Policy went into effect, for purposes of the Anti-Doping Policy, he is being treated similarly to a new athlete coming into the organization. 

"While conversations with the heavyweight have been ongoing for some time, Lesnar required permission from WWE to compete in UFC 200 and only agreed to terms and signed a bout agreement last Friday. He was therefore unable to officially start the Anti-Doping Policy process any earlier. UFC, however, did notify Lesnar in the early stages of discussions that if he were to sign with the UFC, he would be subject to all of the anti-doping rules. Lesnar and his management have now been formally educated by USADA on the policy, procedures, and expectations. 

"UFC Anti-Doping Policy testing statistics are publicly available at ufc.usada.org and are updated on a weekly basis.”