‘Who cares what USADA says?’ – White on Conor McGregor making UFC return in 2023

USADA rules don't matter for Conor McGregor?

By: Anton Tabuena | 3 months ago

Conor McGregor needs six months of USADA testing before returning? Well, apparently Dana White just doesn’t care at all about what the anti-doping agency says.

Conor McGregor still isn’t in USADA testing pool

During a UFC 290 pre-fight press event, Dana White confirmed that Conor McGregor is still not in the USADA testing pool as of today. This means that if they were to follow USADA’s rules, McGregor won’t be eligible to compete in 2023, because any athlete will need six months of testing before any return.

There is of course a clause where UFC can bypass this rule, supposedly only under “exceptional circumstances, when the strict application of the rule would be manifestly unfair to the athlete.” It would be UFC’s call, but in USADA’s opinion, Conor doesn’t qualify for it.

“Our position, which we have made clear, is that Conor should be in the testing pool for the full six-month period,” USADA previously said about McGregor, which sparked some angry tweet-and-deletes from the Irish superstar in response.

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Who cares about USADA?

Apparently, Dana White doesn’t care about what USADA thinks about all this, because at the end of the day, the final decision is his to make. The UFC President implied that the ball is in Conor McGregor’s court, and insists that there’s still a chance he fights this year.

“100 percent (there’s a chance Conor McGregor fights this year),” White told Aaron Bronsteter. “He’s not (back in the USADA testing pool).

“We’ll see how that plays out. (USADA) is saying that now, but who knows? I don’t talk about s―t until s—t happens. To sit here and think hypothetically how a million different things could happen, no idea,” White said. “The Conor thing, who the hell knows how that’s going to play out? Who cares what USADA says?”

UFC to give McGregor a special pass from USADA rule?

If White’s most recent statements are any indication, it looks like if McGregor wants to put down the bottle and actually fight this year, they wouldn’t hesitate to grant him an exemption.

It doesn’t matter that it backfired when the last star they gave an exemption to tested positive right after. It doesn’t matter that McGregor himself pretty much admitted using banned substances supposedly to “heal,” while constantly boasting about bulking up and looking almost unrecognizable. It certainly isn’t a good look to pretend anti-doping matters for everyone, except for the biggest stars.

But money talks, and White has openly admits that McGregor gets special treatment anyway, so who cares, right?

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About the author
Anton Tabuena
Anton Tabuena

Anton Tabuena is the Managing Editor for Bloody Elbow. He’s been covering MMA and combat sports since 2009, and has also fought in MMA, Muay Thai and kickboxing.

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