The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced Wednesday that UFC fighter Conor McGregor has officially returned to their drug-testing pool. However, all is not good between the organization and the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
USADA CEO Travis Tygart’s statement regarding Conor McGregor’s status was only part of his press release, it was accompanied by the news that in USADA’s partnership with the UFC will be over beginning Jan. 1, 2024.
“We can confirm that Conor McGregor has reentered the USADA testing pool as of Sunday, October 8, 2023,” “We have been clear and firm with the UFC that there should be no exception given by the UFC for McGregor to fight until he has returned two negative tests and been in the pool for at least six months. The rules also allow USADA to keep someone in the testing pool longer before competing based on their declarations upon entry in the pool and testing results.
“Unfortunately, we do not currently know whether the UFC will ultimately honor the six-month or longer requirement because, as of January 1, 2024, USADA will no longer be involved with the UFC Anti-Doping Program,” the statement continued. “Despite a positive and productive meeting about a contract renewal in May 2023, the UFC did an about-face and informed USADA on Monday, October 9, that it was going in a different direction.”
“The relationship between USADA and UFC became untenable given the statements made by UFC leaders and others questioning USADA’s principled stance that McGregor not be allowed to fight without being in the testing pool for at least six months.”
So Conor McGregor will fight in the UFC, but his status won’t be determined by the United States Anti-Doping Agency in the long run – beginning next year. Dana White was furious over the decision by USADA, calling it a “dirty, scumbag move” during an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show.
“The you-know-what is about to hit the fan,” White said as he defended both Conor McGregor and the UFC. “Our deal is up at the end of the year and we were (already) looking to go in another direction. And especially after the dirty, scumbag move that they pulled yesterday? Yes. We will be looking to go in a different direction.”