WWE and UFC superstar Brock Lesnar has quietly retired from the MMA fight scene. According to MMA Fighting Lesnar has not made an official public announcement, but he quietly notified the UFC that he has withdrawn from the USADA drug testing program. USADA spokesperson Ryan Madden confirmed Lesnar’s withdrawal from the testing program, and it is reported that Lesnar’s name had been removed from the UFC roster. The Lesnar announcement comes hot on the heels of his return to the WWE network and amid the buildup to Lesnar’s bout with Goldberg at WrestleMania 33.
Fight fans will be aware that Lesnar showed up at Monday Night Raw last month to announce that he would compete in the 2017 Royal Rumble. Lesnar also laid the groundwork for a WrestleMania match against Goldberg on the same evening, a match that has now been confirmed for the April 2 showpiece. The problem is that Lesnar is still under suspension by ASADA and the Nevada Athletic Commission.
As reported by the Wrestling Observer, Lesnar was fined $250,000 and banned for 12-months after twice “testing positive for the banned substance hydroxyl-clomiphene around the time of July’s UFC 200.” Lesnar’s UFC suspension is recognized by athletic commissions across America, so he would not be allowed to fight in MMA until July 2017. Ordinarily, Lesnar’s suspension, under anti-doping rules, would not allow him to take part in competitive sport.
By voluntarily withdrawing from the UFC’s drug testing regime, Lesnar is now in a position where he would not be allowed to fight until he reapplied to UFC and entered their testing regime. The remaining term of Lesnar’s suspension would have to be served on his return, and in addition, Lesnar would have to enter a four-month testing program before he would be allowed to enter the ring.
So, What Does This Mean For Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg at WrestleMania 33?
By withdrawing from the ASADA testing program, Lesnar is now in a very strange state of limbo. While competing in UFC, Lesnar was part of that organization’s anti-doping program. Being part of that testing regime means that Lesnar was not part of the WWE’s drug testing program. In effect, this means that the WWE organization could not suspend or sanction Lesnar for testing positive for hydroxyl-clomiphene.
This leaves a bizarre situation, where Lesnar is competing in a professional sport, but he is not part of any organization’s anti-doping regime. Obviously, the WWE has its own anti-doping and wellness program, and almost every WWE star is part of the program, but Lesnar is not.
It may be the case that WWE wrestling is classed as sports entertainment, but the use of hydroxyl-clomiphene is known to be performance enhancing. As he is not part of a testing program, no one knows if Lesnar is continuing to use a performance enhancing drug. No one knows if Lesnar is clean, or if he continues to obtain an unfair advantage over his opponents by illegal means.
Of course, Lesnar has denied that he knowingly took a prohibited substance, but he has said little about the matter in public. Common sense would dictate that if Lesnar is no longer part of the UFC’s drug testing regime, then he should be part of WWE’s if he is to compete in that organization.
It’s not like the WWE doesn’t enforce its anti-doping rules. As recently reported by the Inquisitr, WWE star Paige was suspended twice in 2016 for breaching the WWE’s wellness policies. The WWE organization released a statement saying that Paige had tested positive for a banned substance, although the star maintains that this was a result of drugs prescribed for her neck injury.
There is no clear indication as to how the WWE network will deal with the current Lesnar situation. WrestleMania 33 is just six weeks away, and Lesnar’s match with Goldberg is a huge part of the WWE’s biggest event of the year. The WWE Network doesn’t want to lose that match from the lineup. Likewise, the WWE doesn’t want to be accused of allowing a drug user to compete.
Brock Lesnar’s situation leaves the WWE network with some tough choices to make. Some might believe that Lesnar should not be allowed to compete until such time as he proves himself to be clean. We must wait to see how the WWE deals with the matter.
[Featured Image by WWE]