Georges St-Pierre Says Depression & Dispute With UFC Over Drug Testing Led to 2013 Hiatus
By FCF Staff
Over the year, Georges St-Pierre has talked about how the pressures of being a champion, led to his initial hiatus. But, more recently, the Canadian star provided even more alarming details, as to why he decided to walk away from fighting in 2013.
St-Pierre shocked the MMA world in November, 2013, when after recording a split decision win over Johny Hendricks, he announced he was taking a hiatus. In the proceeding years, St-Pierre was open about the fact the pressures of being a champion contributed to him vacating the title. The decorated fighter was also open about his concerns regarding PEDs in fighting.
But, more recently, St-Pierre spoke with Burt Watson. While doing so, St-Pierre claimed that a dispute with the UFC over drug testing, also played a key role in him walking away (quotes via MMA Junkie).
“I had a lot of issues with the UFC because of performance-enhancing drugs. We were talking behind closed doors, and I know they know that a lot of their athletes were using performance-enhancing drugs. But I’m not stupid. I know how business works. They didn’t want to test them because they know a lot of their champions would fall. I think I carried too much pressure for too long. I was champion for a long time, and it’s hard to become champion, but it’s even harder to stay champion because you have a lot of pressure on yourself.”
St-Pierre also said that he was struggling with depression, leading up to his bout with Hendricks. In addition, the now 40-year-old said this.
“On top of the mental and emotional struggle, I had a sh*tty training camp,” St-Pierre said. “I was tired, like mentally burned out. So I was training for the fight and trying to make it in a way that – because in the interview I was telling Johny Hendricks, ‘OK, let’s do drug testing before the fight,’ and he agreed in the beginning but (later) said no. He didn’t want to do it, and I learned after that the UFC told him not to do it because they didn’t want to start a trend that people start doing it.
“Because I know there are a lot of good fighters that are honest and don’t cheat, and it would have made a lot of guys that are honest who think that their opponent might be cheating, to do the same trend and they didn’t want that to start. So they told Johny Hendricks to not do it because I wanted to do it with VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association) at the time. So after the fight with Johny Hendricks, right after the press conference, I went in a room with Lorenzo (Fertitta) and Dana (White), and I told them what I think of this whole thing. … I thought it was corrupted, and I left.”
Ultimately, the UFC implemented additional drug testing and St-Pierre returned to the Octagon in 2017, and took the middleweight title from Michael Bisping.