Former UFC 155 and 145-pound champion Conor McGregor must re-enter the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) drug-testing pool and stay in it for at least six months before he’s allowed to compete inside the Octagon, the promotion’s president, Dana White, revealed on Saturday.
In September, TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter broke the news that “Notorious” hadn’t been randomly tested by the agency all year – something that active fighters must be subjected to if they want to fight.
And during Saturday’s UFC 280 post-fight press conference, the UFC president confirmed to MMA Junkie’s Farah Hannoun that McGregor will have to be a part of the program for six consecutive months before his return.
Notorious is currently filming “Road House,” however he’s said on several occasions that he plans to fight again. The Irish superstar last battled in July 2021 when he took on Dustin Poirier in a trilogy bout at UFC 264. Unfortunately for McGregor, he broke his leg in the latter part of the opening round and the fight was called off by the doctor after the frame concluded.
USADA provided TSN with a statement in connection to Bronsteter’s route, also confirming that McGregor would have to complete six straight months in the testing pool before fighting.
“Once UFC athletes are enrolled in the testing program, they are subject to testing – even when not competing – unless they notify the UFC of their retirement, their contract is terminated, or they are otherwise removed from the program,” USADA statement reads.
“In the event of an athlete’s return to the UFC, they are required to remain in the USADA testing pool for six months before they are permitted to compete. Similar to World Anti-Doping Agency rules, the UFC may grant an exemption to the six-month written notice rule in exceptional circumstances or where the strict application of that rule would be manifestly unfair to the athlete, but in both cases under the UFC rules, the athlete must provide at least two negative samples before returning to competition. We do not comment on the testing pool status of any particular athlete.”
McGregor has yet to state publicly why he hasn’t been tested by USADA.
One person who believes McGregor is out of the pool for a specific reason is lightweight star Justin Gaethje. He recently told MMA Fighting that McGregor looked like he was “taking steroids.”
“If everybody would just remember correctly, I fought Cowboy (Donald Cerrone), I beat him and then he fought Cowboy right after that [at UFC 246 in January 2020],” Gaethje said. “I was primed and ready to go. It sounds to me like he’s off taking steroids right now. He hasn’t been drug tested by USADA in quite some time. I’m looking for fair competition.”
“If he’s on steroids, then give me steroids and let’s go, I’m down with that,” Gaethje continued. “My health is my biggest factor. I have never taken a performance-enhancing drug, and I do not want to fight people that are taking performance-enhancing drugs.”