Pro Wrestling

Lesnar Drug Test Failure Won’t Affect SummerSlam Match

In the wake of Brock Lesnar very likely facing a two-year suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission over a potential drug test failure prior to UFC 200, many were concerned that this would also put an end to his advertised SummerSlam match with Randy Orton. This is due to the fact that while each state has its own independent Athletic Commission, which technically oversees both MMA and pro wrestling, they do generally tend to respect suspensions laid down by other states. If the New York Athletic Commission chose, Lesnar would also be unable to fight at SummerSlam, which takes place in Brooklyn this August.

However, the NYAC issued a statement of their own, which you can read right here:

In 2002, New York State passed legislation that scaled back the regulation of “professional wrestling” in many respects based on a recognition that the activity is entertainment rather than bona-fide athletic competition. Under current New York State law, “professional wrestling” is defined as wrestling “primarily for the purpose of providing entertainment to spectators and which does not comprise a bona fide athletic contest or competition” (NY Unconsolidated Laws section 8928-b[1]). As such, the State does not license individual wrestlers, and Mr. Lesnar is not a licensee of the New York State Athletic Commission. In the context of “professional wrestling,” as defined above, the State licenses only the promoter, such as the WWE. Per New York law, among other health and safety requirements that apply to the licensing of a promoter, the event promoter is required to have a physician examine each wrestler and determine whether each wrestler is medically fit to participate.

The question of whether Mr. Lesnar is fit to participate in a “professional wrestling” event is one that will be determined by the application of the professional medical judgment of the examining physician, the policies of the WWE, and the choices made by Mr. Lesnar with regard to his own participation leading up to the event date.

Basically, what this means is that the NYAC doesn’t particularly care about regulating pro wrestling anymore (because it’s not actually a real sport), outside of an examination of Lesnar on the day of the event that is part of the requirements for WWE to run their event in New York, as long as WWE itself doesn’t also suspend Lesnar for his positive test under their own Wellness Policy (which, given that they continued to advertise the Lesnar-Orton match on Raw, seems unlikely).

So, good news, if you were looking forward to Brock Lesnar vs Randy Orton at SummerSlam, you’re very likely going to get it, regardless of the fallout from his positive drug test!


Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle is an avid wrestling and film fan. He's been writing about WWE, movies, and video games for Goliath since 2015.