It was pretty much universally hailed as a positive development when UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre proposed Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) testing in advance of his fight with Johny Hendricks. Hendricks initially agreed to testing through VADA, according to an interview he did with UFC Central Radio:
Heck ya! The worst thing that they’re going to find is a little bit of protein in my diet. If eating wild hogs and organic deer meat and a little bit of glutamine is bad for the ol’ system then I might fail. It doesn’t matter. Today, tomorrow, three months from now, I’ll gladly take a test for anything.
No more news came out on the subject for several weeks, and then people started to wonder why Hendricks’ VADA paperwork hadn’t, you know, been filed. It turns out that Hendricks had just been kidding before, and according to Hendricks’ manager Ted Erhardt, GSP’s drug test proposal was “full of red flags” from the beginning:
“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.’
“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. 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.
“Alarm bells ring straight away when you consider that VADA testing will cost a fighter $20,000 U.S, and GSP is not paying a cent for it.”
Ehrhardt then talked about the possibility of using the WADA (world anti-doping agency) as an agency that has no affiliation with either fighter.
“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.
“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 questionWe were just ready to test WADA, that’s what we wanted to do, and he didn’t want to.”
And now, Hendricks says GSP tried to “throw him under the bus.” So, what really happened here? Did GSP try to hoodwink Hendricks and validate his own drug use by using some phony wannabe regulators? Or is Johny simply too suspicious? One thing that’s for sure is that the speculation over steroid use seems kind of ridiculous when it’s heaped on a fighter who’s never shown a really rapid change in physique. However, Hendricks’ perspective is understandable: I guess if my parents didn’t even know how to spell my name, I might be suspicious too.