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USADA suspends Brock Lesnar for one year in UFC 200 doping case

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has suspended UFC heavyweight Brock Lesnar for one year because of multiple failed drug tests around UFC 200 on July 9.

The suspension is in line with the sanctions already placed on Lesnar by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Last month, NSAC also suspended Lesnar for one year and fined him $250,000.

Lesnar, 39, will be eligible to return to active mixed martial arts competition on July 15. Neither suspension will affect his professional wrestling career with WWE.

The USADA sanction formally ends Lesnar’s anti-doping case. Because the event took place in Nevada, Lesnar’s case fell under the jurisdiction of both the NSAC and USADA.

A former heavyweight champion, Lesnar came out of retirement to fight Mark Hunt at UFC 200 in Las Vegas. He initially won the fight via unanimous decision, however it was later changed to a no contest.

It was later revealed Lesnar tested positive for two banned substances during an out-of-competition test taken on June 28. He failed a second drug test on the night of the fight. Lesnar managed to compete despite the failed tests, as the results were not available to the UFC or NSAC before the fight.

Lesnar’s case was unique in that the UFC waived a mandatory four-month testing window ahead of the fight. As a retired athlete, Lesnar was supposed to undergo four months of random testing prior to any comeback, but the UFC exercised its right to dismiss that requirement due to “exceptional circumstances.” It is the only time the UFC has done so.

Hunt has spoken out against the USADA anti-doping program and its lack of effectiveness since Lesnar’s test results came to light. He has since demanded a clause in his contract that would call for harsher penalties should an opponent fail a test. The UFC has scheduled a fight between Hunt and Alistair Overeem at UFC 209 on March 4; however, Hunt has continued to ask for the clause.