MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: Lombard Suspended For A Year

Hector Lombard Fans won’t be seeing Hector Lombard in the cage, as the veteran welterweight fighter has been suspended for one year due to a recent failed drug test for performance-enhancing drugs. The Nevada State Athletic Commission on Tuesday brought down the hammer on Lombard, suspending the former Bellator middleweight champion one year retroactive to his UFC 182 fight against Josh Burkman, which took place Jan. 3 in Las Vegas. Lombard was caught for steroids in a post-fight drug test and the commission brought down the hammer on him, benching him for one year retroactive to the event and taking away his win — the fight is now considered a “No Contest.” According to Lombard, he took pills given to him by Olympic athlete Julie Northrup which contained the steroids in them, but Lombard swore under oath he did not know the pills contained a banned substance. The commission, however, did not buy his story, and threw the book at him. In addition to the suspension and the loss of another victory on his record, Lombard’s failed drug test cost him financially, as well. He was fined his entire $53,000 win bonus by the NAC, plus he was fined an additional 33% of his $53,000 show money. He’s also been told he must past a drug test before he will be given a license to fight again in Nevada. All told, it’s a harsh punishment for Lombard, harsher than normal for a first-time drug offender, but it’s also the right call, and it sends the right message to fighters that if they are caught, the penalties are going to be severe. In the past, first-time offenders were given nine-month suspensions, so upping a first-timer’s suspension to one year is a step in the right direction, for sure. Fining Lombard his win bonus is also the right move. Too many times in the past have fighters who have been caught used PEDs been allowed to keep their win bonus despite fighting their opponents on PEDs and therefore circumventing the rules. So for the commission to take that extra step and fine Lombard his whole win bonus is another step in the right direction. Seeing Lombard get the book thrown at him makes you wonder what the NAC is going to do when Nick Diaz and Anderson Silva have their cases heard next month. In Diaz’ case, he’s a multi-time offender of their drug policy, and even though it was just marijuana, because this is his third time being caught, it’s likely he’s going to get a significant suspension and fine. As for Silva, he, like Lombard, is a first-time offender, so one should expect “The Spider” to get a similar suspension and fine to “Showeather.” Getting back to Lombard, on top of his fine, suspension, and the loss of the win over Burkman from his record, he also lost a huge opportunity to get a title shot as his title eliminator against Rory MacDonald, which was set for UFC 186, is obviously no longer happening. It’s just further proof that cheating doesn’t pay off in this sport, and with more and more drug tests being conducted, more and more of the men and women gaming the system will be caught, and this is only a good thing for the sport moving forward.

Written by Adam Martin.

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