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Dana White, USADA confirm Conor McGregor needs 6 months of drug testing before UFC return

Conor McGregor has to undergo six months of drug testing and provide a minimum of at least two negative tests before he’s allowed to compete in the UFC again.

Following UFC 280 this past Saturday, UFC President Dana White confirmed McGregor is not currently enrolled in the United States Anti-Doping testing pool, which is required for all active athletes on the roster.

It was previously reported that McGregor hadn’t been tested at all in 2022, but there was no official word from USADA on whether or not he was still part of the testing pool. At the time, the organization said it was unable to verify any athlete’s participation in the testing pool.

That has now changed. After White stated McGregor needs to undergo six months of testing to compete again, USADA also confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Tuesday.

Typically, athletes only leave the USADA testing pool when exiting the UFC or retiring from competition. Any fighter that leaves the pool, however, has to complete the six months of testing before returning to action. That’s what McGregor will have to complete before booking his next fight – unless he’s granted an exemption by the UFC and USADA, which retain the right to do so.

McGregor, 34, most recently fought in July 2021, when he suffered a gruesome broken leg in his fight with Dustin Poirier at UFC 264. He was also one of the most tested athletes that year with 11 total tests during 2021.

Since that time, the former two-division UFC champion has been recovering from the injury. More recently, he’s also taken up residence in the Dominican Republic to film a prominent part in the upcoming Road House remake starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

After UFC 280, McGregor took aim at new UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev and also got into an exchange with reigning UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.

McGregor has continued to tease a return to action when he recovers from the broken leg, though there’s been no actual timeline for his next fight. It appears he’ll have to wait until deep into 2023 to compete again once he re-enrolls in the USADA testing pool.

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