Things have suddenly gone from bad to worse for Brock Lesnar and the doping saga surrounding his surprise return to the UFC earlier this month for UFC 200.
Lesnar, a UFC Heavyweight and current WWE superstar, has been nailed with a second U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) anti-doping violation stemming from his return to the Octagon after nearly five years against Mark Hunt at UFC 200.
The difference this time, however, is that Lesnar’s (6-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) second positive test sample was collected in-competition on the night of his UFC 200 bout with Hunt (12-11-1, 7-5-1), which he won by unanimous decision courtesy of some key takedowns and pain-inflicting punches.
Lesnar’s first failed test, which was revealed on Friday night, was collected out-of-competition on June 28. The results weren’t processed and confirmed until after the July 9 event, though, which means Lesnar couldn’t be pulled from the card ahead of time similar to the way interim UFC Light Heavyweight champ Jon Jones was yanked from the original UFC 200 headliner against Daniel Cormier just three days prior to the event when he was flagged with a potential USADA anti-doping violation of his own.
According to multiple reports from ESPN and the L.A. Times, both of Lesnar’s positive tests came up for one of the same substances as Jones. That substance was clomiphene, an estrogen blocker that can remain in the system for roughly one month following use. A UFC official as well as a USADA official were unable to confirm the accuracy of those reports when contacted by Rolling Stone. Policy states comment cannot be made on the specifics of the substance until after the adjudication process is complete or the athlete speaks publicly on the matter.
Clomiphene is classified as a performance enhancing substance and is banned both in-and out-of-competition The substance is often used simultaneously with other performance-enhancers and can be beneficial in the restart of natural testosterone production.
Lesnar, 39, released a short statement to the Associated Press after the first test declaring he would, “get to the bottom of this.” His camp declined to comment on the recent development when contacted by Rolling Stone.
Lesnar might be in hot water when it comes to his MMA career, but in regards to his future as a wrestler for WWE, his situation appears far less bleak. WWE released a brief comment in the hours following news of Lesnar’s first test failure, stating that Lesnar’s has not performed for the organization since April’s WrestleMania 32 event and is not slated to return until a August 21st showdown with Randy Orton at SummerSlam in Brooklyn, N.Y.
What’s more is the fact Lesnar was featured as a top pick on Tuesday’s WWE Draft, going as the No. 8 pick to the RAW brand. The draft took place after news of Lesnar’s second failure broke but no mention of the situation was made either via comment from WWE or on the broadcast. In addition, the matchup with Orton was mentioned on multiple occasions and will seemingly go on uninterrupted.
Whether WWE chooses do address or take action against Lesnar for his second failed test in a 13-day span is unknown. It’s a bad look for the company, though, because WWE takes much pride in its Talent Wellness Program, which apparently tests for banned substances. Lesnar failed two tests in a roughly five-week window under the jurisdiction of USADA, however, which raises questions about the quality of WWE’s program.
Lesnar has been the subject of steroid accusations dating back to his collegiate wrestling career, first WWE stint in the early 2000s, original UFC stint in the late 2000s and all the time in between. He famously responded to those allegations prior to UFC 200, claiming, “I’m a white boy and I’m jacked – deal with it.”
Nevertheless, Lesnar is in a much trickier situation than he was just a few days ago. One positive test is a challenge to overcome both scientifically and in the public eye. Two tests, however, and for the same substance no less, renders almost all excuses meaningless.
Hunt, who pointed to Lesnar as “juiced to the gills” prior to UFC 200 and originally called for the UFC to turn over the entirety of Lesnar’s record $2.5 million fight purse to him after news of the first positive test, reacted furiously to the most recent development. Hunt lashed out at the UFC and called for a fighter’s association to help serve and protect the best interests of the athletes.
“The way I see it, the Brock Lesnar doping thing is just another reason why we need a fighter’s association,” Hunt told his website, MarkHunt.tv “These guys have lined their pockets with our blood if you ask me. I mean they deserve to get paid no doubt, they took the UFC from nothing into what it is today, but come on, most of the guys fighting, get paid nothing and have no benefits.”
“If you ask me there needs to be a system where they at least run things past the fighters before making these decisions and the fighters can look out for each other. We need an association where we can have our voices heard. We are massive reason why fans watch the sport and we risk our health to do it.”
Where the situation goes from here remains to be seen. Lesnar is still entitled to due process before anything else, but with multiple failed tests now held against him, the ultimate outcome is almost certain the be grim.