After capping off 2021 at “190 pounds of granite,” former UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor spent most of 2022 bragging about his physique through various social media posts, like the one embedded above.
Some rival fighters accused the “Notorious” striker of using steroids, while other prominent voices in the MMA community believe the power-punching Irishman will soon have to answer to United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
Or will he?
Turns out McGregor has not been drug tested in all of 2022, despite the organizations 24/7 “whereabouts” policy that makes life miserable for most fighters, even those who are not booked to compete. So why has “Mystic Mac” been left alone?
USADA responded to the recent headlines with a statement to MMA 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.”
“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.”
In other words, it’s none of your business.
It may seem pointless to drug test McGregor — who remains out of action while recovering from a broken leg — with no return date planned for the next several months, but I think the big issue here is consistency.
If USADA demands a drug test from a fighter who is at the hospital with his wife in labor, then surely it can find the time to grab some Irish lemonade from the “Road House” star while he’s on location in Dominican Republic.
If not, there’s always this escape clause.