Friday 9 December 2016

UFC’s biggest ever crossover star flagged for possible anti- doping violation

Tom Rooney

Published 16/07/2016 | 12:56

Brock Lesnar before his fight against Mark Hunt during the UFC 200 event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Brock Lesnar before his fight against Mark Hunt during the UFC 200 event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

For the second time in just over a week the UFC has been left reeling by the news that one its biggest names is embroiled in a doping scandal after USADA informed Brock Lesnar of a possible anti-doping policy violation.

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Lesnar, also one of the most prominent names in professional wrestling, returned to MMA after a five year hiatus for last weekend’s UFC 200 and defeated fellow heavyweight Mark Hunt by unanimous decision.

Lesnar was awarded a $2.5m purse for the bout but, just six days later, the 39-year-old was told of a possible anti-doping violation from a sample taken on June 28 by the WADA-accredited UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory.

As such, the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the regulators of UFC 200, is likely to issue a provisional suspension to Lesnar.

This morning Lesnar issued a brief statement to AP, which strongly intimated that he planned to fight the charge or, at the very least, deny any wrongdoing.

“We will get to the bottom of this.”

USADA have stated that Lesnar has been tested a total of eight times since entering its pool, but there is a significant caveat.

Lesnar was handed an exemption from a USADA policy which dictates that athletes returning from retirement must give four months’ notice so as to begin testing before they compete. Subsequently, Hunt claimed that the former heavyweight champion was 'juiced to the gills.’

Just days before UFC 200, Jon Jones, who was scheduled face Daniel Cormier in a light-heavyweight title unification bout in the main event, was also flagged for an out of competition anti-doping violation.

He was then pulled from the card and replaced by Anderson Silva, who recently served a suspension for using banned substances.

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