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Johny Hendricks: GSP 'threw me under the bus' on 'shady' VADA testing

Esther Lin

Johny Hendricks says he has no problem undergoing out-of-competition drug testing in the buildup to his UFC 167 title shot against welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.

"You can test me today for anything," Hendricks said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "Today, tomorrow, you name the time, I'll be there."

The problem, as Hendricks sees it, is that St-Pierre's camp has insisted the testing be conducted through the Las Vegas-based Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, a company which prominently features St-Pierre on the front page of its website.

To Hendricks, that's cause to question VADA's impartiality.

"I don't know GSP and for him to say ‘yeah, let's go take the test over here and nowhere else that I suggested or that even the UFC suggested,' that's a little suspect to me," Hendricks said. "My career is held in his hands and here he has a foot in the door with the VADA group."

Hendricks went on to liken it to two people applying for the same job.

"That's like if you're trying out for a job, and a guy says, hey, we're both trying out for the same job, you both gotta sign up for a drug test," Hendricks said. "And he says ‘hey I've got a really good guy that you can drug test over here.' Are you going to take that drug test over here with someone that he knows, or are you going to get someone you don't know, so that way it's on equal grounds?"

The way Hendricks sees it, his Nov. 16 match with GSP at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, in the main event of the company's 20th anniversary event, is his big shot at the money that goes with a top position. And he's not willing to risk that on anything that appears to be less than a level playing field.

"I'm not willing to say ‘You know what GSP, you might be correct, they may not be shady, they might do it 100 percent correct," he said. "But you're talking about, I beat GSP that's millions of dollars. If I do this drug test, and they do do something to where I don't get it, now it might cost me millions of dollars, I'm not willing to risk that for GSP just to sit here and push VADA."

A conference call was recently held in which representatives from both camps, along with the UFC and the Nevada Athletic Commission, attempted to hash out the situation.

"There's some suspect things that have been going on the last three weeks, first off," Hendricks said. "My manager, his management group and the UFC and the Nevada commission, they got on the phone and they talked an hour or so. I wasn't on the conference call. We said yeah, we'll test for anything, but we don't know how deep and we don't still know if  GSP is in with VADA."

According to Hendricks, who was not on the conference call, his camp offered to do testing through the World Anti-Doping Agency, the International Olympic Committee-affiliated testing agency.

"Once we found out it was a little suspect, we said, let's still do the drug testing, but let's take it a step further," he said. "Let's go to WADA, the world Olympic testing. The Nevada commission, they picked WADA, they had nothing but good things to say. ... We wanted to do WADA. When the UFC said let's do WADA, I was 100 percent ready for that."

It started to get a little personal for Hendricks when St-Pierre decided to proceed with VADA testing without Hendricks' involvement.

"Then all of a sudden a week later after the conference call, I didn't know GSP was going to be doing a drug test, then it comes out that ‘Johny denied it,'" he said. "I said hey, you didn't even tell me you were going to do VADA. The last I heard from my management and the UFC was WADA. Then GSP just went and did VADA on his own and threw me under the bus to clear his name."

Hendricks was asked if GSP's overtures to test through VADA was an attempt at playing head games.

"I really believe he has a reason to be scared," the former NCAA champion wrestler said. "I think I can beat GSP. I believe it. There's a part of me, I believe 100 percent I can beat GSP. Is that why he's doing it? Is he playing head games to try to distract me? I don't know. I don't know GSP. There's a lot of ways that this can play and I'm just not buying it.

"I know I'm not taking anything," Hendricks continued. "I know I'm clean. I can pass any drug test given to me at any point at any time. It's just that I don't like that somebody has a foot in the door [with VADA]. That's my biggest concern. There's certain things going around, that affects what's going to happen. It doesn't affect me. I know I'm never going to fail a drug test. I haven't yet and I know I'm not going to. If I need drugs to help me when then I don't want to do it."

St-Pierre has yet to offer official comment on the situation.

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