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Conor McGregor says PED use may be 'Brazilian culture;' Jose Aldo requests weekly testing

Cynthia Vance, MMA Fighting

LOS ANGELES -- Conor McGregor has his suspicions about Jose Aldo being a clean fighter.

In Las Vegas on Monday, McGregor made some thinly veiled references that Aldo could have been on performance-enhancing drugs during his UFC career. The brash Irishman doubled down on those words Tuesday during the UFC 189 World Tour stop at the Intercontinental Hotel here in LA.

"It seems to me like maybe it's Brazilian culture," McGregor said of PED use. "The women are on it. The men are on it. I don't know what to think. So I don't really have to think. It's in Vegas. We are in a new age. The sport is being cleaned. The athletes who are dedicated to martial arts and dedicated to health and fitness and purity, they are the athletes who are being rewarded now. I am happy to be part of the new age."

McGregor was referring to the UFC's new drug-testing policy, which is planned for a rollout in July -- right on time for the featherweight title fight between champion Aldo and McGregor at UFC 189 on July 11 in Las Vegas.

The UFC is planning on randomly testing its entire roster of nearly 600 fighters out of competition multiple times per year. The promotion will also be urging athletic commissions to increase the length of suspensions for those caught to up to four years. The UFC will also continue to help fund testing done by specific commissions, which it has increasingly done in Nevada and California.

"Thankfully, the fight is in Nevada," McGregor said Monday in Vegas. "Thankfully, we are in a new age of the sport. Thankfully, the Nevada State Athletic Commission [is] doing out-of-competition testing. We are not in Brazil now."

Aldo turned the tables on McGregor when asked Tuesday in LA about performance-enhancing drugs. The featherweight champion said it was McGregor using PEDs, not him.

"He's the one that takes those substances," Aldo said through an interpreter. "That's no surprise in why he fights in this weight class. In his country, they don't even have a commission to put a rule on this. Something that I'm going to do, I'm going to ask for the doping tests every week. I want him to be tested and I'm here to be tested, too. I'm here to prove that I'm the one who is clean."

It is likely that the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) will do random, out-of-competition testing for this fight much in the same way it did for recent Las Vegas main events between Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz and Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. Silva tested positive for anabolic steroid metabolites in one of those pre-fight screenings, which McGregor called a dark day for MMA.

"When all the stuff came out when Anderson was on the juice, a few people got caught, it wasn't a great thing for the sport," McGregor said. "Then when they were calling the press conference [to announce the new drug-testing policy], I spoke with Lorenzo and I said this should be a celebration. This press conference should be a celebration. We are changing the game now. We're turning the tide. Now we are dedicated to the fight against this. Purity. Pure martial arts, pure combat. It's a new age and it should be celebrated. So I am happy to be part of that new age."

Aldo is also in favor of the new policy and he's willing to put himself through even more stringent testing heading into UFC 189 to show McGregor he is wrong.

"I'd put myself in the position of being tested every week, too," Aldo said. "I don't have any problem with this. They can send whoever they want to test me. I don't see any problem. I want to prove that I'm clean for this fight. If he's not, it's a problem on him."

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