Brock Lesnar’s MMA future remains uncertain, but the results of his doping case no longer are.
The former UFC heavyweight champion was suspended one year by USADA for failing two drug tests in relation to UFC 200 in July, the UFC’s anti-doping partner announced Wednesday in a press release. Lesnar is eligible to return to the Octagon on July 15, 2017, one year after his provisional USADA suspension began.
Lesnar, 39, tested positive for clomiphene and its metabolite, 4-hydroxyclomiphene, in an out-of-competition drug test June 28 and in-competition test on fight night, July 9. One year was the maximum sanction Lesnar was going to receive under the UFC’s anti-doping policy due to the nature of the drug.
Lesnar was also suspended one year and handed a $250,000 fine by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) last month. He defeated Mark Hunt by unanimous decision at UFC 200, but the result was overturned to a no contest by the NAC, which shared jurisdiction in the case with USADA.
Per the release, any athlete serving a suspension must remain in the USADA drug-testing pool until the ban is completed. If a suspended athlete officially retires during the suspension, the ban will be frozen until the fighter comes out of retirement and re-enters into the drug-testing pool. That is particularly important for Lesnar, who retired in 2011 and came back for the bout at UFC 200.
The UFC and USADA drew criticism in this case. The UFC gave Lesnar an exemption from the four months of testing required of athletes returning from retirement by its anti-doping policy, because Lesnar was signed just a month out of the fight and he retired originally long before USADA and the UFC joined forces. Lesnar was tested out-of-competition five times before a sample came back positive, but the result that ended up popping was not expedited by USADA and did not come back before the fight.
Hunt is threatening the UFC and Lesnar with a lawsuit because he feels like he was treated unfairly and not fully compensated for an opponent testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
Lesnar (5-3, 1 NC) is currently under contract with WWE and will perform at its Royal Rumble event Jan. 29. He came over from pro wrestling to MMA in 2007 and the former NCAA wrestling champion won the UFC heavyweight title in just his fourth professional fight. Multiple bouts with diverticulitis shortened his MMA career in 2011 before he came back last year.