Brock Lesnar granted USADA exemption to compete at UFC 200

The UFC had to grant former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar an exemption from standard protocol under the UFC’s Anti-Doping Policy in order for him to compete at UFC 200 next month.

Retired athletes are required to give four-months notice before returning to action under in order to have a suitable amount of time in the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s out-of-competition testing pool.

UFC officials on Saturday announced Lesnar would compete on July 9 at T-Mobile Arena. Mark Hunt was later named as as the opponent for Lesnar’s first fight since 2011.

The policy includes a provision for fighters to be given a waiver at the UFC’s discretion for “exceptional circumstances.”

Such a stipulation is necessary in cases of short-notice fights, like last-minute injuries. Lesnar’s surprise signing to fill a vacant spot on the blockbuster card qualified, according to the UFC.

“While conversations with the heavyweight have been ongoing for some time, Lesnar required permission from WWE to compete in UFC 200 and only agreed to terms and signed a bout agreement last Friday,” a statement from the UFC read. “He was therefore unable to officially start the Anti-Doping Policy process any earlier. UFC, however, did notify Lesnar in the early stages of discussions that if he were to sign with the UFC, he would be subject to all of the anti-doping rules. Lesnar and his management have now been formally educated by USADA on the policy, procedures and expectations.”

Lesnar, 38, has been competing in professional wrestling since leaving the UFC following back-to-back first-round knockout losses.

A statement from WWE indicated Lesnar, who is still under contract with the wrestling promotion, was given permission to take one fight in the UFC.

Jeff Novitzky, the UFC’s senior vice president of athlete health and performance, flew to Lesnar’s ranch in Canada to explain the testing rules that have been implemented since he last competed.

The UFC’s Anti-Doping Policy, which is independently administered by USADA, went into effect in July 2015.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj

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