UFC President Dana White says that Conor McGregor still hasn’t re-entered the promotion’s anti-doping program to undergo the required drug testing before he re-enters The Octagon. Despite this, the man in charge says he believes there’s a chance that his biggest draw could somehow still compete in 2023.
White spoke at length with TSN on Thursday and stated that they would like to book Conor McGregor before the end of the year. The Irishman McGregor was slated to face his fellow Ultimate Fighter 31 coach Michael Chandler, but the proposed fight was never set in stone and now could be delayed by multiple factors.
The first hurdle will be his ability to prove that he doesn’t have any performance-enhancing drugs in his system. United States Anti-Doping Agency officials said they contacted Conor McGregor and his handlers team about getting him back into the regular testing pool. The fighter originally left the USADA-UFC system after suffering a broken leg during his fight with Dustin Poirier two years ago. McGregor has been out of action ever since.
The USADA rules state that athletes returning from retirement – which is what McGregor’s current status is considered – must undergo six months of drug testing and submit a minimum of two negative samples before being allowed to return to active competition.
However, it appears that Conor McGregor never made an effort to get back into the flow of things with the drug testing program, leaving many wondering if he really will fight in 2023. There IS the possibility that he could be given a rare exemption to compete, but that looks to be a long shot. And as of right now? Neither the fighter nor USADA have made any further public statements on the matter.
That’s why White felt the need to clear up the situation while talking with TSN. At least, in the best way he could make sense of it for now.
— UFC (@ufc) July 7, 2023
“We’ll see how that plays out,” White said. “They’re saying that now, but who knows? I don’t talk about s**t until s**t happens. To sit here and think hypothetically how a million different things could happen, no idea. I’m focused on what’s happening this Saturday, and then next Saturday. UFC 300 isn’t even in my mind right now.”
“The Conor thing, who the hell knows how that’s going to play out? Who cares what USADA says? We’ll see what happens when it happens, so I don’t know.”
UFC 290 (minus Conor McGregor, of course) is scheduled to take place on Saturday night (July 8) in Paradise, Nevada.