Hendricks camp: VADA instead of WADA = NADA

Saturday, September 07, 2013

The French Canadian site TVSAports.ca recently reported that Johny Hendricks had not filled out paperwork for Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) testing that a frustrated UFC welterweight champion George St-Pierre had requested to allay entirely baseless rumors that he had used PEDs at some point.

When asked initially if he would participate in pre fight drug testing, Hendricks agreed, and in good humor.

“Heck ya,” said Hendricks in an interview with UFC Central Radio on Sportsnet 590 The Fan in July. “The worst thing that they’re going to find is a little bit of protein in my diet. If eating wild hogs and organic deer meat and a little bit of glutamine is bad for the ol’ system, then I might fail.”

However, Hendrick’s manager Ted Ehrhardt, spoke to Bloody Elbow and said that the Hendricks camp was willing to submit to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) testing, but that the VADA testing raised red flags.

“GSP asked if we would drug test,” said Ehrhardt. “He didn’t say VADA or anything else at first, he just asked for drug testing and Johny said, ‘Of course I’ll drug test.’ Then he said VADA, and then it came to us that VADA is giving the testing to him for free.”

“Somehow he has a relationship with VADA. I don’t know to what degree, but that made us a little nervous and since we don’t work for GSP, we work for the UFC, and we’re fighting in Nevada, so they’re the commission, we talked to both of them. We did a conference call with GSP’s manager and trainer, the Nevada commission, UFC representative and myself, and we talked about him wanting us to do VADA.”

The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) suggested using the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to conduct the testing, and apparently all parties initially agreed.

“A week later, GSP’s attorney asked 15 or 20 questions about how WADA is going to test for this and that, how are they going to move the tests, how are they going to do this, a ton of questions,” said Ehrhardt. “He wanted to have predetermined times. It’s not random if you know when they’re coming. He had questions about what they test for, and that’s another red flag. Why do you care what they test for, if you’re clean, you’re clean? We didn’t ask one question. We were just ready to test WADA, that’s what we wanted to do, and he didn’t want to.”

NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer offered further details, in an interview with MMAJunkie.

“They were asking, ‘Well, what do you test for?’ My answer is always the same: We test for prohibited substances as listed on the WADA list,” said Kizer. “(They said), ‘Well, what does that mean? Does that mean HGH, does that mean this, does that mean that?’ Yes, it means it all. The answer then should have been, ‘OK.'”

“Basically, they said we want to know all the tests you do so Georges’ medical advisors can vet the test first before we decide.

“I said, ‘I will take that as a no. We will let you know if we’re going to do any testing on our own. Goodbye.'”

“(GSP’s Attorney) actually had the gall – this Rodolphe (Beaulieu) guy – (to say), ‘Well, no, that’s not what we meant. We’re happy to do it once we get this additional information, but I’m going to be done for the next seven days, and I’m unavailable via cell phone or email.’ It’s like, whatever dude. It was so ridiculous. But I don’t hold any of that against Georges St-Pierre. As far as I know, he doesn’t even know about these things.”

“I don’t know if it’s just his people being overly aggressive, or trying to act as agents of VADA – I have no clue, and I don’t care. But when an athlete’s representative is basically saying, ‘Well, he’s interested in perhaps doing enhanced testing, but we need to know – and more importantly, his medical advisors need to know – all the ins and outs of the testing before he’ll agree to it,’ that’s a no. That’s a refusal, and that’s fine.”

So the GSP camp is going through with VADA testing on their own. Both fighters of course remain subject to testing by the NSAC, which has conducted surprise tests in the past, most notably on UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem, who was tested, caught, and suspended during an unannounced test prior to a press conference in April of last year.

St-Pierre and Hendricks fight at UFC 167, on November 16, live on PPV from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.