Ever since former UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre vacated his belt after defeating Johny Hendricks at UFC 167, he’s remained relatively quiet about his reasons for wanting to take an indefinite hiatus from the sport. Recently, however, he’s become more vocal about some of the issues that led to him to retire (sort of) from professional mixed martial arts.
The former champ revealed to reporters in Canada that he was very unhappy with the approach the UFC was taking towards drug testing and regulation. According to his statements, this was among the major reasons for his decision. He even went as far as labeling the UFC a monopoly, it’s clear that GSP’s distaste for business as usual in the world of mixed martial arts has grown stronger.
Here’s a translation of the former champ’s statements from ESPN:
“It bothered me greatly,” St-Pierre said, according to the Canadian Press. “It was one of the reasons I decided to step aside.
“I tried to change things and unfortunately — maybe for money reasons, maybe for image — they were not ready to do that. I tried in a very diplomatic way and it didn’t work, so it’s unfortunate, but I believe it will happen sooner or later.”
It’s very likely that St-Pierre is referring to the drug testing scandal in his last fight against Johny Hendricks. GSP has been accused of using PEDs in the past, and he wanted to do additional drug testing to show that he was a clean fighter. So, he volunteered to do drug testing with VADA and also encouraged his opponent, Johny Hendricks, to do it with him.
At first, Hendricks agreed, but he later backed out of their arrangement. But what really upset St-Pierre was when UFC President Dana White called the additional drug testing “stupid.” From GSP’s point of view, he was trying to do something good for the sport by doing additional drug testing. The sport has been bashed by many critics regarding the prevalence of PEDs among many of its fighters, and GSP wanted to increase transparency by showing that the top fighters in the sport aren’t dopers.
So when White said it looked “stupid,” GSP was bothered that his own boss didn’t support his chivalrous actions.
Eventually, he did complete his additional drug testing with VADA and the results were clean. Hendricks, on the other hand, refused to do any testing with him and took a different route.
GSP also expressed his frustrations with Hendricks not being able to discern the difference between WADA and VADA.
For our readers who aren’t familiar with WADA and VADA, WADA stands for World Anti-Doping Agency, and they set the guidelines for anti-doping agency’s testing procedures. VADA stands for Voluntary Anti-Doping Association. They’re an independent organization that offer testing for athletes in boxing and mixed martial arts.
VADA follows all of the guidelines WADA does, and more. VADA is known for random drug testing that makes it difficult for athletes to hide their use of PEDs.
Hendricks said he didn’t want to test with VADA because he believed they were in league with St-Pierre. St-Pierre, himself, denied those allegations.
Regardless of how the testing with Hendricks went, what seems to be bothering St-Pierre the most is that White didn’t support him when he was trying to do something good for the sport.
Since vacating his belt, many hopeful fans have speculated that the former champ will eventually return to the sport. Considering the tone of his recent statements, that prospect seems highly unlikely.