USADA responds after Conor McGregor’s 2022 drug test history raises questions


Conor McGregor hasn’t been drug tested at all in 2022, but it appears there’s no conspiracy about why that is.

TSN Recently, McGregor was reported to be one of only a few UFC athletes who have not been tested through September according to the latest of athlete testing history from the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

Officials of USADA can’t comment about any particular athlete’s participation or the removals from the testing pool. However, USADA representatives offered a statement for MMA Fighting to address McGregor’s situation.

“UFC athletes who are already enrolled in testing are still subject to testing, even though they’re not competing. Unless they inform the UFC that they have retired, the contract of the UFC is cancelled or removed from the program,” USADA officials stated.

“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 don’t comment on any athlete .”

‘s testing pool status.

McGregor is currently sidelined after he suffered a broken leg in his previous outing against Dustin Poirier in July 2021. He’s 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, though he wasn’t tested in the fourth quarter, which came after his injury in the fight with Poirier.

All UFC athletes who are enrolled under the anti-doping policy can be tested at anytime. However, “resources that target the detection of doping might not just be random testing” according to USADA. In other words, McGregor is still subject to testing under the UFC’s anti-doping policy, but the decision on when and how often he’s tested remains up to USADA and is based on a variety of factors.

Per USADA’s website, the factors include:

  • Physical demands of the sport and possible performance-enhancing effect that doping may elicit
  • Available doping analysis statistics
  • Available research about doping trends
  • History of doping in the sport and/or discipline
  • Training and competition dates
  • Information received on possible doping practices

Currently, the Irish superstar is in the Dominican Republic, where he’s filming a role in the upcoming Road House reboot alongside Jake Gyllenhaal. McGregor posted photos and videos from the filming, showing that the ex-two-division UFC champ has gained quite the bulk.

Gyllenhaal packed on 28 pounds of muscle for his role in the boxing film Southpaw, engaging in intense training sessions for six to seven hours a day to prepare for production. The actor went from 147 pounds to 175 pounds inside six months to get ready for the film.

There’s no telling what physical requirements McGregor endured for his role, but with no plans to fight until 2023, he’ll likely have plenty of time to shed any extra weight gained for production before competing again in the UFC.