“Clear for Testing in February”: Conor McGregor Signals Pending Return to USADA Pool

Conor McGregor, UFC 264
Conor McGregor, UFC 264 official weigh-in Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

While news broke last month that the injured Conor McGregor was out of USADA’s athlete testing pool, it appears the Irish star will be returning to it shortly.

On Wednesday, the UFC’s former featherweight and lightweight double-champ took to social media to declare that “I am clear for testing in February,” adding that “I will complete my two tests per USADA and we are booking a fight.”

McGregor did not provide a timeframe for the fight itself, nor given any indication as to what opponent he had in mind. “The Notorious” was last seen suffering an injury TKO in the rubber match of his trilogy with Dustin Poirier, having broken his leg early on in the bout.

Based on the UFC’s Anti-Doping Policy rules, fighters returning from suspension must complete six months of clean testing, leaving August of 2023 as potentially the earliest possible date. While the promotion has the power to waive this clause, that has not always gone smoothly, historically. In the case of Brock Lesnar, disaster ensued when the UFC waived the window ahead of UFC 200, only for Lesnar to later test positive for a banned substance, leading to opponent Mark Hunt suing the promotion.

More recently, the UFC waived the six month requirement ahead of Miesha Tate’s return from retirement, without issue.

Also left as a question mark following Wednesday’s brief update was McGregor’s withdrawal from the testing pool itself. That is usually a move made when a fighter retires, however no such announcement has ever been publicly made by the UFC star, and it has seemed clear since his injury that he intended to return to competition.

Instead, McGregor has been busy healing up from surgery following the broken leg suffered in the Poirier fight, and rehabbing the limb. While he’s also been filming a role in an upcoming remake of the Patrick Swayze classic Road House, that commitment came about more recently.

UFC President Dana White previously confirmed McGregor’s absence from the testing pool, but neither party, nor USADA itself, has ever provided clarification on why the fighter was not being tested.


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