Team Hendricks & The NSAC Agree, GSP’s Drug Testing Inquisitions Raise Red Flags
UFC welterweight title contender, Johny Hendricks, was accused last week of refusing to partake in the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency’s enhanced drug screening leading up to his title fight against welterweight champion, Georges St-Pierre in November.Ā Now, Hendricks’ team has come out explaining why they refused VADA.Ā The main reason, it seems, is that the champ’s team has refused to play ball.
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
With just over two months before their UFC 167 welterweight title fight, Johny Hendricks and Georges St-Pierre cannot agree on something they verbally committed to in July: enhanced, third-party drug testing.
According to Hendricksā manager, Ted Ehrhardt, St-Pierre has a connection with the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) that raised concerns.
āGSP asked if we would drug test,ā Ehrhardt told Bloody Elbow.Ā āHe didnāt say VADA or anything else at first, he just asked for drug testing and Johny said, āOf course Iāll drug test.āĀ Then [GSP] said VADA, and then it came to us that VADA is giving the testing to him for free.
āSomehow he has a relationship with VADA.Ā I donāt know to what degree, but that made us a little nervous and since we donāt work for GSP, we work for the UFC, and weāre fighting in Nevada, so theyāre the commission, we talked to both of them.Ā We did a conference call with GSPās manager and trainer, the Nevada commission, UFC representative and myself; and we talked about him wanting us to do VADA.ā
According to Ehrhardt, during this conference call the Nevada State Athletic Commission suggested the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) conduct the drug tests, an idea to which everyone initially agreed.
ā A week later,ā Ehrhardt explained, āGSPās attorney asked 15 or 20 questions about how WADA is going to test for this and that, how they are going to move the tests, how are they going to do this, a ton of questions.Ā He wanted to have predetermined times.Ā Itās not random if you know when theyāre coming.Ā He had questions about what they test for, and thatās another red flag.Ā Why do you care what they test for, if youāre clean, youāre clean?Ā We didnāt ask one question.Ā We were just ready to test WADA, thatās what we wanted to do, and he didnāt want to.ā
MMAJunkie.com spoke with Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director, Keith Kizer, about these interactions.Ā He said that the behavior of GSPās team certainly raised some red flags.
āThey were asking, āWell, what do you test for?āĀ My answer is always the same: we test for prohibited substances as listed on the WADA list.Ā [They said,] āWell, what does that mean?Ā Does that mean HGH, does that mean this, does that mean that?Ā Yes, it means it all.Ā The answer then should have been, āOK.āā
Kizer went on to explain further discussion he had with one of St-Pierreās lawyers, Rodolphe Beaulieu, in which Beaulieu insisted on VADA testing.
āOk, fine, use VADA.Ā Thatās not the question,ā Kizer had told Beaulieu.Ā āThe question is do you want to do outside testing through the athletic commission?Ā And basically, they said we want to know all the tests you do so Georgesā medical advisors can vet the test before we decide.Ā I said, āI will take that as a no.Ā We will let you know if weāre going to do any testing on our own.Ā Goodbye.āā
Of course, according to Kizer, that wasnāt the end of it.
āThe guy actually had the gall ā this Rodolphe [Beaulieu] guy ā [to say,] āWell, no, thatās not what we meant.Ā Weāre happy to do it once we get this additional information, but Iām going to be [gone] for the next seven days, and Iām unavailable via cell phone or email.āĀ Itās like, whatever dude.Ā It was so ridiculous.Ā But I donāt hold any of that against Georges St-Pierre.Ā As far as I know, he doesnāt even know about these things.
āI donāt know if itās just his people being overly aggressive, or trying to act as agents of VADA ā I have no clue, and I donāt care.Ā But when an athleteās representative is basically saying, āWell, heās interested in perhaps doing enhanced testing, but we need to know ā and more importantly, his medical advisors need to know ā all the ins and outs of the testing before heāll agree to it,ā thatās a no.Ā Thatās a refusal, and thatās fine.ā
While Kizer seemed perturbed by St-Pierreās handlers, he said it has nothing to do with the fighters, their individual histories with the Nevada commission, nor does it hold any implication toward their careers.
āIām not looking to being used in this pissing match with these athletes saying, āIām going to do this enhanced testing.Ā If my opponent doesnāt, that means heās dirty.āĀ Now, it doesnāt.Ā If they want to play those games, thatās between them.Ā Iām not going to take any sides.Ā Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks have both been great licensees in the past.Ā I expect them to be great licensees in the future.Ā But they definitely both will be tested by the commission.Ā How often, and when, is up to us.ā
One thing is certain about UFC 167: a lot of tension has been building up to this fight, given Hendricksā long-standing accusations that GSP has avoided their fight.Ā Whether anything comes of these accusations surrounding additional testing remains to be seen; but at the very least, it is clear that the world will be watching the lead-up to this fight with bated breath and utmost interest.