What’s the story?
USADA has announced in a press release that former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar is suspended for one year for failing two drug tests earlier this year. Lesnar failed two tests following his return to the octagon at UFC 200 in July, and as a result is banned from fighting again until July 15, 2017. The suspension is backdated to when the provisional suspension began.
The release also states that Lesnar must remain in the USADA drug testing pool until the completion of his ban in the summer of this year. The suspension follows the decision made by the Nevada Athletic Commission last month to also suspend Lesnar for a year and fine ‘The Beast Incarnate’ $250,000.
In case you didn’t know
Brock Lesnar made a successful return to the octagon at UFC 200, defeating Mark Hunt by unanimous decision in his first fight since 2011. Following the fight, Lesnar tested positive for clomiphene and its metabolite, 4-hydroxyclomiphene, in both an out-of-competition test prior to the bout and an in-competition test on the night of the fight. As a result of the failed tests Lesnar has received the maximum punishment available to the USADA.
The heart of the matter
Lesnar’s future in the octagon was up in the air, but this could well spell the end for the former champion. The suspension states that if a fighter retires whilst still suspended it will subsequently be frozen, only continuing once the fighter has come out of retirement and re-entered the drug testing pool. At this point in his career, it is unlikely that Lesnar will be willing to deal with the red tape, and as such may be more like to hang up his gloves one final time.
Will this change anything with regards to Lesnar and his role in WWE? It would be extremely surprising if it did. WWE chose not to punish Lesnar in any way following the initial failed tests, in fact seemingly rewarding him by booking him to squash Randy Orton at SummerSlam 2016. Lesnar has since been vanquished by Goldberg, with the two destined to meet once more. Rumours suggest Lesnar/Goldberg III is going to take place at WrestleMania 33, and it is unlikely that WWE will change their stance on Lesnar now.
Whilst the ‘one rule for Brock and one for the rest’ is quite frustrating, complaining about it is no longer worth doing. If the suspension leads to Lesnar retiring from the octagon for good, it’ll be a sad way for one of the USA’s greatest combat athletes of all time to bow out.
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