The USADA has issued a statement following Conor McGregor’s recent comments about his eligibility to fight in the UFC.
Conor McGregor (22-6 MMA) is expected to return to the Octagon for the first time in two years to take on Michael Chandler (23-8 MMA) after the two coaches face-off at TUF 31.
The Ultimate Fighter 31 is set to debut on ESPN+ on May 30th and run through to August 15th of this year. Following the reality series, a fight will be scheduled between McGregor and Chandler with a date, time and place yet to be determined. The underlying question remains that McGregor has not yet entered into the USADA testing pool and is required to do so before competing in the UFC.
It was during a recent interview with Ariel Helwani that Conor McGregor spoke about the USADA testing rules, saying:
“I’m not rushing nothing. There’s hurdles and what not, but we’re in constant communication and there’s an interview scheduled and a meeting happens 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.”
Aaron Bronsteter took to ‘Twitter‘ with the following news:
USADA have issued a statement regarding the comments made by Conor McGregor yesterday in regards to his eligibility to resume competition 👇 https://t.co/FNaBjMgUxX pic.twitter.com/ql9rz0RQWO
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) March 16, 2023
“‘USADA have issued a statement regarding the comments made by Conor McGregor yesterday in regards to his eligibility to resume competition (see below):”
“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 the 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.”
Obviously, the goal is to see the Irishman get back into active competition, but there seems to be a disconnect between the fighter and the USADA at this point.
Even if Conor was to enter the pool now, the earliest he could fight would be Fall of 2023 and that would be assuming he had 2 negative tests.
Do you believe we will actually see a McGregor vs Chandler bout in the Octagon? Or, do you think this is all just smoke and mirrors?
Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!