MMA

Mark Hunt Sues UFC And Brock Lesnar Over Doping

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MMA
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Jan 11, 2017 at 5:04 PM ET

In July, Brock Lesnar ended his five-year retirement from mixed martial arts to take on heavyweight Mark Hunt at UFC 200. Lesnar won by a unanimous decision, but a week later it was revealed that Lesnar failed doping tests conducted by the U.S. Anti-Doping agency, both before and on the night of the fight.

Lesnar was docked $250,00 by UFC, 10 percent of the winning $2.5 million-dollar purse, and received a one-year suspension, but those disciplinary measures weren’t enough for Hunt, who filed a lawsuit in Nevada on Tuesday, claiming that the UFC has undermined its own anti-doping measures to enrich itself, as first reported by ESPN.

“UFC and its agents have affirmatively circumvented and obstructed fair competition for their own benefit, including being complicit in doping proliferation under the guise of advancing ‘the best anti-doping program in all of professional sports,’” the lawsuit states. “Defendants have accomplished this by means including but not limited to various and rampant purported use exemptions, drug testing exemptions and by failure to enforce its own policies.”

The lawsuit alleges that UFC ignored its own rules by allowing Lesnar to return from his lengthy absence without first undergoing a four-month testing protocol, during which time USADA would have been able to determine if he was taking any banned substances. Lesnar was granted an exception in order to make the July bout possible, though the lawsuit claims that the UFC knew of Lesnar’s return as early as March, and therefore acted “with knowledge or willful indifference to the fact that Lesnar was using banned substances.”

Further, Hunt has faced off against Antonio Silva and Frank Mir, both of whom were later charged with using performance-enhancing drugs. As such, UFC had allegedly exemplified “a pattern of liberally granting purported use exemptions and other drug testing exemptions, without any additional safeguards to prevent abuse.”

The UFC, Lesnar, and UFC president Dana White are charged with racketeering, fraud, negligence, and breach of contract, and Hunt is seeking compensatory and punitive damages “in the millions,” according to Hunt’s attorney, Christina Denning.

“I want the UFC to understand it’s not OK to keep doing what they’re doing,” Hunt said.“They’re allowing guys to do this. They had a chance to take all the money from this guy, because he’s a cheater, and they didn’t.”

“What message is that sending to the boys and girls who want to be a fighter someday?” he continued. “The message is, ‘You just have to cheat like this and it’s OK.’ In society, if you commit a crime, you pay. Why is it different in MMA? It’s hurt the business, so it’s even worse. They need to be held accountable for this.”