USADA Admits Fault To Lawlor
While Tom Lawlor may be making a seamless transition into the world of professional wrestling, the popular former UFC fighter was on the bench for two-years due to a tainted substance found to have ostarine.
Lawlor would be handed a two-year fine by USADA, the UFC’s anti-drug partner, while this week four current UFC fighters including Sean O’Malley were handed six-month suspension, with all but one fighter having them retroactive to their test date in 2018.
Lawlor, who tested positive for the Ostarine in 2017, would be released by the UFC prior to USADA reducing his suspension in mid-2018.
Taking to Twitter, Lawlor, the current champion for the MLW organization, asked why the four fighters, who similarly couldn’t prove that their positives came from tainted supplements, were issued six-months, while he had to suffer a two year sentence and essentially the loss of his job with the UFC.
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
In a statement sent to MMA Fighting on Thursday, USADA communications director Adam Woullard conveyed that modern testing is “more sensitive and able to detect far smaller quantities and new metabolites of PEDs than even just a few years ago,” which can lead to more “intentional cheats” being caught, but also “some inadvertent positives,” like via supplement contamination.
Woullard admitted that if Lawlor’s case happened in 2019 and not 2017m he’d “have the ability to challenge to an independent arbitrator to determine the final consequence.” But his two-year suspension was the “standard sanction at the time,.”
“An effective and just anti-doping program should always evolve to best protect clean athletes and to evaluate the facts and science for each individual athlete and fairly sanction intentional dopers,” Woullard wrote. “Today, laboratory testing is more sensitive and able to detect far smaller quantities and new metabolites of PEDs than even just a few years ago, which is great for detecting intentional cheats because of longer detection windows, but on the flip side may also mean some inadvertent positives such as through product contamination are found.
“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. 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.”
Speaking to the website on Thursday, Lawlor said he was advised by UFC VP of athlete health and performance, Jeff Novitzky and USADA themselves to no arbirtate, as he was unable to produce the supplement that led to the positive.
“Perhaps the science and testing should be solidified first before people’s livelihoods are put at stake and people are unjustly punished,” Lawlor said.
Quotes via MMA Fighting