Conor McGregor was not drug tested at all in 2022, but it seems there is no conspiracy as to why there is.
TSN recently reported that McGregor is one of the few athletes on the UFC list not to have undergone any testing through September, according to the latest update to the testing history of athletes in the testing program administered by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
USADA officials are unable to comment on a specific athlete’s participation in the UFC’s anti-doping program or those removed from the testing pool, but USADA officials gave MMA Fighting a statement when asked about McGregor’s status.
“Once UFC athletes are enrolled in the testing program, they will be tested — even if they don’t participate — unless they notify the UFC of their retirement, their contract is terminated, or they are otherwise removed from the program.” USADA officials wrote.
“In the event that an athlete returns to the UFC, they must remain in the USADA test pool for six months before they are allowed to participate. As with the World Anti-Doping Agency rules, in exceptional circumstances or where the strict application of that rule would be clearly unfair to the athlete, the UFC may waive the six-month written notice rule, but in either case UFC rules, the athlete must provide at least two negative samples before returning to competition. We do not comment on the status of any particular athlete’s test pool.”
McGregor is currently sidelined after suffering a broken leg during his previous appearance against Dustin Poirier in July 2021. He is not expected to return to action until sometime in 2023.
McGregor was one of the most tested athletes in 2021 with 11 samples taken over the course of the year, although he was not tested in the fourth quarter, which came after his injury in the fight with Poirier.
Under USADA policy, all athletes participating in the UFC’s anti-doping program are subject to testing at all times, although “agents aimed at detecting doping may be specifically targeted” rather than just random testing. In other words, McGregor will still be subject to testing under the UFC’s anti-doping policy, but the decision about when and how often he will be tested remains up to USADA and is based on several factors.
According to USADA’s website, the factors include:
- Physical demands of sport and possible performance-enhancing effect that doping can cause
- Available statistics on doping analysis
- Available research on doping trends
- History of doping in sport and/or discipline
- Training periods and the competition calendar
- Information received about possible doping practices
Currently, the Irish superstar is in the Dominican Republic, where he is filming a role in the upcoming road house reboot alongside Jake Gyllenhaal. McGregor has posted photos and videos during production where it looks like the former UFC champion has grown quite a bit in two divisions.
Gyllenhaal had 28 pounds of muscle mass for his role in the boxing film southpaw, six to seven hours a day of intensive training sessions in preparation for production. The actor went from 147 pounds to 175 pounds in six months to prepare for the film.
There’s no telling what physical requirements McGregor will endure for his role, but with no plans to fight until 2023, he’ll likely have plenty of time to shed extra weight for production before re-entering the UFC.
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