Is it caution, disclosure, or something else altogether? Whatever it is, Emil Weber Meek has certainly found a strange way to get his UFC debut cancelled. "Valhalla" as he's also known, was set to fight Jessin Ayari at UFC Hamburg on September 3rd. It was also going to be Weber's first bout since stopping the notorious leg-lock specialist Rousimar Palhares at Venator FC 3, back in May. However, the bout has been called off.
A UFC statement on the cancellation says that Meek "voluntarily disclosed medical treatment he received prior to signing with the UFC that is potentially out of compliance with the UFC's Anti-Doping Policy." And that as that medical treatment happened pre-Zuffa signing, "he is not subject to any potential anti-doping violations under the policy relating to that treatment." It does mean, though, that Meek is no longer going to be able to waive the 4-month testing period before his debut.
If that's not clear enough (and it's not really), Meek elaborated somewhat on exactly what went down, in a recent statement to FloCombat:
"There is no specific substance and I have never tested positive for anything. If I'm unlucky you can test positive with the wrong supplement, wrong medicine, wrong treatment. The WADA prohibited list and the USADA is very, very thorough and I just don't want to take any risks and test positive on something I didn't know was illegal one month ago.
"So to get my medication in order, like my asthma or that I got cortisone shot in my toe, all that stuff can get me banned for years if the paperwork isn't right. I just don't want to risk my whole life on being reckless and too eager to get in the fight."
"I'm not apologizing for what I have done, but I apologize to my army for pulling out," Meek continued. "They mean everything to me, and only with them on my back can I be victorious. But at least now I know for sure it will be more than one night we will fight together! I still have a four-fight contract with the UFC, and I still will do everything in my power to get as many Viking as possible to my fights."
Whether, as Meek suggests, this is down to asthma drugs and cortisone and other medication, or if this is a new potential loophole for fighters who have used PEDs in the past to avoid an instant 2-year suspension to start their UFC career is still unclear. Either way, it represents another strange twist in the continuing saga that is the UFC's attempt to implement a sweeping drug testing program to combat sports athletes.