MMA superstar Conor McGregor has confirmed that concerns regarding his inclusion in the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) pool have been resolved, signaling his readiness for a showdown against Michael Chandler.
“That’s done,” McGregor said to several media outlets. “By year’s end, I’m back in that cage having competed. I’m gearing up now, ready to go. [The fight with] Michael Chandler, it will be announced during The Ultimate Fighter.”
In an interview conducted by boxing event promotional company Matchroom Boxing on Saturday, the Irish fighter revealed his aim to schedule his bout with Chandler for December. He expressed that achieving this timeline would be possible if he resumes participation in the USADA program within the upcoming weeks.
Before his octagon appearance, McGregor will assume a coaching position alongside Chandler on Season 31 of the reality series “The Ultimate Fighter.” The new season will premiere on May 31 and be broadcasted on ESPN.
Following a leg fracture during his trilogy fight against American fighter Dustin Poirier back in July 2021, McGregor opted out of the testing program. His departure is effectively announced as a “retirement” from the sport.
Throughout 2022 and 2023, McGregor remained untested. However, as he gears up for a planned comeback to the octagon against Chandler later this year, the 34-year-old is again taking action.
USADA has confirmed their recent direct communication with McGregor in a statement. They announced that McGregor would submit the necessary paperwork to officially come out of retirement and promptly re-enter the USADA testing pool.
According to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, the Notorious will undergo testing for at least six months like other athletes emerging from retirement. He must also provide at least two negative samples before being granted permission to compete.
“The purpose of this rule is to ensure that all athletes who are not subject to a period of testing are adequately tested over a reasonable period of time before competing to ensure a level playing field for all athletes,” USADA wrote in their statement.
Additionally, McGregor must remain subject to unscheduled spot checks while frequently updating his whereabouts through the USADA app. The app is designed to assist fighters in complying with the whereabouts requirements of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy. McGregor aims to fulfill this requirement by the year’s end.
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