USADA have admitted that Tom Lawlor, who was banned for two years in October 2016 after testing positive for ostarine, might have been eligible for a lower sanction.
The news comes after four UFC fighters all recently tested positive for ostarine. However, USADA ruled all of the fighters “unintentionally ingested” the substance, which meant they were all handed just six-month suspensions due to consuming it from a contaminated supplement.
Lawlor didn’t take kindly to this news. The 35-year-old found himself in the same position as those four fighters a few years back, testing positive for 17 picograms of ostarine. However he was not handed a six-month ban - instead he was sanctioned for two years.
Hello @usantidoping can you please explain the difference between the 4 recent cases of @ufc fighters being given 6 months for ostarine while I was sanctioned for 2 years? I’d like to believe in fairness by your organization but I would like some clarity please.— “Filthy” Tom Lawlor (@FilthyTomLawlor) April 25, 2019
“Hello USADA, can you please explain the difference between the four recent cases of UFC fighters being given 6 months for ostarine while I was sanctioned for two years?” Lawlor’s tweet read. “I’d like to believe in fairness by your organization but I would like some clarity please.”
USADA communications director Adam Woullard told MMA Fighting that if Lawlor’s case arose today, the outcome could be very different.
“While the facts in Lawlor are similar but not necessarily identical to the ostarine cases announced this week, he received the standard sanction at the time for his violation announced in 2017,” Woullard said. “If his case arose today, he might have been eligible for a lower sanction and would have the ability to challenge to an independent arbitrator to determine the final consequence.”
Lawlor has since left MMA for professional wrestling following his suspension, and he currently competes for Major League Wrestling. He made a one-off comeback fight at Golden Boy promotion’s inaugural MMA event last November, losing to Deron Winn by unanimous decision.