Conor McGregor announces he is ‘clear for testing in February’ and will then be booking his UFC return… as the Irishman continues his road to recovery after suffering a broken leg at UFC 264
- Conor McGregor has provided an update on his return to action in the UFC
- The Irishman announced on Twitter that he will be ‘clear for testing in February’
- Normal anti-doping protocol would see McGregor have to test for six months
- But UFC can grant an exemption to allow their former champion to return sooner
Former two-weight UFC champion Conor McGregor has given an update on his long-awaited return to the Octagon.
McGregor has been out of action since suffering a broken tibia in his trilogy bout with Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 264 in July of last year.
Writing on Twitter, the 34-year-old announced: ‘I am clear for testing in February. I will complete my two tests per USADA and we are booking a fight.’
Conor McGregor revealed he will return to the UFC’s drug testing pool in February ahead of a return to the Octagon
McGregor hinted on Twitter that he will benefit from an exemption in their anti-doping policy that requires a fight to test twice before returning
Since suffering his injury, McGregor has been out of the USADA drug-testing pool that all UFC fighters must enroll in to compete in the organisation.
Article 5.7.3. of the UFC’s Anti-Doping Policy states that a fighter returning to the testing pool ‘may not resume competing in UFC Bouts until he/she has given UFC written notice of his/her intent to resume competing and has made him/herself available for Testing for a period of six months before returning to competition.’
This would place the timeline for the former lightweight champion’s return somewhere towards the tail-end of summer based on the February date provided in his tweet, marking more than two years since his defeat to Poirier.
However, the UFC does retain an option to allow fighters to return sooner than the normally-obligated six months, as stated in the aforementioned anti-doping policy:
The UFC famously invoked the same clause for Brock Lesnar’s return to action at UFC 200
Lesnar defeated Mark Hunt at the event, but later tested positive for Clomiphene and the result was overturned to a no contest
‘UFC may grant an exemption to the six-month written notice rule in exceptional circumstances or where the strict application of that rule would be manifestly unfair to an Athlete provided that in either instance the Athlete provides a minimum of two negative Samples before returning to competition.’
This clause was famously invoked to allow former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar to make a brief return to MMA as a makeshift attraction for the organisation’s flagship UFC 200 card in 2016.
However, although Lesnar was cleared to compete at the event, defeating Mark Hunt by unanimous decision, he later tested positive for a banned substance and the fight’s result was overturned to a no contest.
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