Brock Lesnar Gets Special USADA Exemption For Mark Hunt Fight At UFC 200

One of the big questions regarding the fight between Lesnar and Mark Hunt, which was announced for UFC 200 on July 9, is how Lesnar would be handled in terms of USADA testing.

When the USADA policy was first implemented, there was a policy added to avoid a fighter announcing his retirement, going on PEDs and then coming back out of retirement to fight at an advantage. The passage in the official USADA policy that deals with this issue reads as follows:

“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.”

Apparently because Lesnar last competed back in 2011, long before the new USADA policy was in place, he is being treated as a brand new athlete who just signed with the promotion for the purpose of the USADA policy, and not as a fighter who retired, was no longer being tested, and then decided to return.

On Wednesday, UFC issued the following statement regarding Lesnar and the USADA policy:

“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.”

About Debbie Wiseman

Editor in chief, Conor McGregor fangirl, animal lover. Follow me on twitter @MMAPARADISE and @nevernotdebbie