clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

USADA: Conor McGregor, Floyd Mayweather to be drug tested ‘robustly’ leading into boxing match

Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather face off Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather will be drug tested by USADA leading into their historic boxing match.
Esther Lin, Showtime

Conor McGregor is now a part of two separate USADA drug-testing pools.

The UFC lightweight champion remains under the UFC’s anti-doping policy this summer as he prepares to box Floyd Mayweather on Aug. 26 in Las Vegas and will still be tested as part of that USADA-run program. In addition, McGregor has been placed in USADA’s pool for professional boxers and is subjected to testing there as well, according to a USADA spokesperson.

“Mr. McGregor is subject to both the UFC Anti-Doping Policy (because he's still an active UFC athlete) and the anti-doping program agreed to for the Mayweather vs. McGregor boxing match,” the spokesperson told MMA Fighting via e-mail.

McGregor has yet to be tested under the boxing program, per USADA’s athlete test history on its website, but he has been tested five times in 2017 under the UFC’s anti-doping policy, including twice this month.

Mayweather has been tested twice this year, both times this month. It was the first time he’s been tested by USADA, per its website, since 2015. Mayweather has been retired since fighting Andre Berto in September 2015.

McGregor was tested 11 times last year and must fill out his whereabouts on a smartphone application to tell USADA where he is daily under the UFC’s anti-doping policy. UFC hired USADA to run its anti-doping program in July 2015.

USADA says the Mayweather vs. McGregor drug-testing program is “consistent” with the UFC’s policy and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code. Mayweather and McGregor will be subject to no-advance notice, out-of-competition testing “at any place and anytime.”

The “latest screening methods and scientific techniques” will be used, USADA promises, including a biological passport that tracks levels over time and flags samples if there are irregularities. All drug-test samples will be tested for substances like EPO, HGH and peptide hormones, and be subject to carbon-isotope ratio (CIR) screening.

“The program is consistent with other professional boxing programs USADA has conducted over the years where the athletes agree to robust testing,” the USADA spokesperson said. “It primarily focuses on out-of-competition testing, all samples are analyzed at WADA accredited labs and the rules are consistent with the WADA Code and UFC Anti-Doping Policy. And like all our anti-doping programs, we start by educating the athletes and their representatives to ensure they’re properly informed of their rights and responsibilities.”

UFC president Dana White said during the recent MayMac World Tour that he was impressed that Mayweather contractually agreed to all the drug-testing provisions that the UFC and McGregor wanted.

MMA Fighting filed a public records request with the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) to obtain the Mayweather vs. McGregor drug testing contract, but was told that the commission didn't possess any such public records.

NAC executive director Bob Bennett told MMA Fighting that USADA has not sent the commission a contract and doesn’t have to, but he is aware the agency is conducting testing for the fight. He said the NAC will require the results when they come in.

USADA’s granting Mayweather a retroactive therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for IV use — without informing the NAC — in relation to a boxing match with Manny Pacquiao drew controversy in 2015, as detailed in an investigative report by award-winning boxing writer Thomas Hauser.

USADA CEO Travis Tygart responded at the time in a 25-page written rebuttal that Hauser’s reporting was inaccurate.

“Contrary to Mr. Hauser’s inaccurate reports, [a USADA official] was in the home and observed Mr. Mayweather’s condition that precipitated the need for an IV,” Tygart wrote in the rebuttal. “The [official] was also in the home when the paramedic was called and remained in the home while the paramedic provided the IV. At no point during the infusion did Mr. Mayweather attempt to hide anything regarding the treatment he was receiving.

“Mr. Mayweather’s use of the IV was not prohibited under the NSAC rules at that time and would not be a violation of the NSAC rules today.”

Mayweather was drug tested 34 times by USADA in 2015.

USADA said there are no limits to how many times McGregor and Mayweather will be tested leading up to and including Aug. 26 and no blackout periods before the fight.

“There is no maximum number of tests that can be performed and like our other programs, we will test robustly leading up to and during the fight in order to maximize deterrence and detection,” the spokesperson said. “Each athlete’s test history will be published on the USADA website and updated weekly.”

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting