“I’m a white boy and I’m jacked – deal with it.” That memorable quote dropped by Brock Lesnar when asked about longtime steroid allegations prior to UFC 200 earlier this month could haunt the UFC fighter and WWE superstar for the rest of his career.
That’s of course assuming the recent news regarding his potential U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) anti-doping violation is deemed accurate.
News broke on Friday that Lesnar had been flagged by USADA for a banned substance stemming from an out-of-competition drug test collected on June 28th. Lesnar (6-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) was tested eight times in the 35-day period between his announced UFC return and his UFC 200 bout with Mark Hunt (12-11-1, 7-5-1), which he won by unanimous decision on July 9th at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
According to a report from MMAFighting.com, Lesnar passed multiple tests collected by USADA, which oversees drug-testing procedures for UFC athletes, prior to the flagged sample. What substance that was, exactly, is kept private per USADA policy until the adjudication process is complete or Lesnar publicly discloses the information.
Lesnar, the former UFC Heavyweight champion who walked away from the sport in December 2011 after losing back-to-back fights and been plagued by diverticulitis, decided to come back to the Octagon for UFC 200 to fulfill a competitive desire At 39, and with his athletic window shrinking, a healthy version of Lesnar said he wanted prove he could still hang with the elite.
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His return could be a one and done situation, though. Despite receiving the largest disclosed fight purse in MMA history at $2.5 million (as well as a cut of the UFC 200 pay-per-view revenue), Lesnar’s potential USADA violation could lead to as long as a two-year suspension from fighting. The UFC also has the right to rescind his pay. Although he hasn’t said much since the news came out, Lesnar told the Associated Press in a statement, “We will get to the bottom of this,” which hints he intends he’ll fight to prove his innocence.
What’s more is the fact Lesnar doesn’t merely have to worry about his future opportunities as a fighter (assuming he even planned to compete again). He also has to worry about his status as a WWE superstar. Lesnar said after his UFC 200 victory that he doesn’t know what his future holds regarding more UFC fights, but that “Brock Lesnar does what Brock Lesnar wants to do.”
His immediate plans, however, include a scheduled match with Randy Orton at WWE SummerSlam, slated to take place August 21st in Brooklyn, according to WWE, which runs its own Talent Wellness Program that explicitly states, “The use of masking agents and/or diuretics to conceal or obscure the use of prohibited drugs is forbidden,” recognized the news of Lesnar’s potential violation in a statement on its official website.
What it failed to mention, though, were any details about whether the potential failure would impact his status with the company.
“Brock Lesnar has not performed for WWE since WrestleMania [in April] and is not scheduled to return until Sunday, August 21,” the statement read.
One personal involved in the situation who wasn’t short on commentary was Hunt, who took a beating from Lesnar at UFC 200, arriving at the post-fight news conference with half his face covered in a shade of purple due to being repeatedly hit by Lesnar’s enormous hands over the course of 15 minutes.
Hunt has plenty of experience trading blows with opponents that have attempted to bend to the rules. Lesnar marks the third consecutive foe (and eighth overall in his career) that’s experienced an issue with drug testing directly around the time of their encounter with “The Super Samoan” or at some point before or after they crossed paths.
There was justifiable anger from Hunt in response to the news. He originally demanded half of Lesnar’s record-setting fight purse, but after frustration mounted even further, gave the UFC an ultimatum to either pay him the entire sum of Lesnar’s purse or release him from his contract.
The UFC has yet to comment on Hunt’s statement and did not respond to a request for comment from Rolling Stone.
Lesnar’s situation has raised a number of curious questions about USADA’s procedures. On the upside, it’s clear the organization has no hesitation to rid cheaters from the sport. Lesnar is a massive name and moneymaking attraction for the UFC, but that matters not. USADA also pulled Jon Jones from the original UFC 200 headliner against Daniel Cormier due to a potential violation just three days prior to the event.
The downside, meanwhile, revolves around the fact Lesnar was even allowed in the Octagon to begin with. With only 11 days between Lesnar’s test sample being collected and his fight against Hunt, the results from the test should have been expedited for before fight night in order to assure the athletes were playing on an even field.
Although there are still questions to be answered regarding Lesnar, such as what substance he tested positive for, the results from his tests following the June 28 sample and whether he’ll choose to have his B-samples tested in hopes of discovering an error or inconsistent result. Like all athletes subject to USADA testing, though, Lesnar has the right to due process before his guilt is confirmed. Unfortunately, even if he clears his name, the stigma of the situation will likely follow him for the rest of his athletic career. Now he’s the one that has to “deal with it.”