Conor McGregor at Odds with USADA for Drug Testing Pool Demand: ‘USADA Going in the Bin’

'The Notorious' might need to wait longer than he originally anticipated as USADA called for him to spend at least six months in the testing pool

Conor McGregor, USADA
Credit: Conor McGregor (via Instagram)

Conor McGregor issued a fiery response to USADA for calling on him to spend at least six months in the drug testing pool.

Former UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor has been out of action for about two years since suffering a brutal leg break injury in his last outing against Dustin Poirier in Jul. 2021. There was a lot of speculation about when he would be able to return, if ever, after undergoing surgery for the horrific injury. The news of his comeback as a coach on the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter opposite Michael Chandler generated a lot of excitement.

Although there is a bout planned between McGregor and Chandler, it’s unclear when it would take place as McGregor is currently not in the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) drug testing pool.

USADA issue statement after Conor McGregor brushes off drug testing requirement

In a recent appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Conor McGregor shared his thoughts on the expected timeline for his return. He appeared to brush off the need to spend at least six months in the testing pool and hinted at the possibility of being okay with just two negative tests.

“I’m not rushing nothing,” said McGregor. “There’s hurdles and what not, but we’re in contact, in constant communication and there’s an interview scheduled and a meeting happen, and then it will be official. But the six months thing, what they had said was two clean tests, and off I go. So, I assume it won’t be too long.”

Following McGregor’s comments, USADA issued a statement clarifying its stance on the matter. The organization denied claims of having a meeting set with McGregor and stated that no notice of his coming out of retirement to compete was provided to them. While they allow exceptions to avoid draconian application of the rule, they made it clear McGregor “should be in the testing pool for the full six-month period.”

“While we meet with all athletes who enter or re-enter the testing pool, we do not currently have a meeting set with Conor and, as of today, we have not received notice of his coming out of retirement to compete.”

“The UFC rules are clear that, in addition to two negative tests, an athlete must make themself available for testing for six months before returning to competition. This is a fair way to ensure an athlete does not use the retirement status to gain an unfair advantage by using prohibited substances during the retirement period, which would enhance their performance unfairly if they ultimately decide to return to competition. 

“While the rules permit the UFC to make an exception to the six-month rule in exceptional circumstances, when the strict application of the rule would be manifestly unfair to the athlete, our position, which we have made clear, is that Conor should be in the testing pool for the full six-month period.”

McGregor hits back at USADA after the statement

‘The Notorious’ took to Twitter to issue his response to USADA’s comments and it seems like he wasn’t too pleased with the demands.

He wrote, “Usada is going in the bin.”

Based on the latest developments, it appears Conor McGregor was banking on getting an exception to speed up his comeback. USADA did not shut the door completely on the idea. It remains to be seen what happens next and whether he would need to stay in the testing pool for six months.

Published on March 16, 2023 at 6:29 pm
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