In July, it seemed as if UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and top-ranked challenger Johny Hendricks were going to pursue voluntary drug testing ahead of their matchup at UFC 167. A recent report suggests that Hendricks has yet to take the first steps in the process.
Those reports are true, but they only tell a small part of the story according to Hendrick's manager Ted Ehrhardt, who spoke to Bloody Elbow on Saturday, "It wasn't so simple as him saying that and us saying no."
According to Ehrhardt, the original offer that St-Pierre extended to Hendricks was not for VADA Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) testing. "GSP asked if we would drug test. 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.'
That VADA would offer St-Pierre testing for free was a red flag for the Hendricks camp, especially since the cost of the testing is reportedly in the $20,000 range.
"Somehow he (St-Pierre) 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," Ehrhardt said. "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."
During that call, the Nevada State Athletic Commission put forth the idea that the two sides use World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) testing. According to Ehrhardt everyone agreed that WADA would be the way to go, but, "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."
Some of those questions revolved around testing times and what they tests would look for, "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," said Ehrhardt. "We were just ready to test WADA, that's what we wanted to do, and he didn't want to."
After finding out that St-Pierre was uninterested in pursuing WADA testing the Hendricks camp said, "Fine, you do VADA, we won't do anything'."
At that point, the NSAC said they were out of the picture, telling St-Pierre's team, according to Ehrhardt, "If you want to do your own drug testing we can't stop you. You can submit it, but it doesn't mean anything to us."
As for where Hendricks stands, with the offer for GSP to pay for the WADA testing off the table, they are not going to do WADA testing. Ehrhardt made it very clear that Hendricks and his team were more than willing to accommodate the WADA testing, "If he wanted to do WADA testing we would have been all for it."
Short of St-Pierre changing his mind and offering to pay for WADA, the testing will be administered by the NSAC.
St-Pierre and Hendricks will meet in the main event of UFC 167. The fight will take place on November 16 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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