The UFC is threatening legal action against the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) following statements made by USADA CEO Travis Tygart. The controversy stems from the status of fighter Conor McGregor in the USADA drug-testing pool and USADA’s principled stance that McGregor should not be allowed to fight without being in the pool for at least six months. The UFC accused USADA of defamation and demanded a formal apology due to what they described as “disturbing material misrepresentations” made by Tygart.
McGregor had previously removed himself from the USADA drug-testing pool following a leg injury. McGregor’s testing status has been a contentious subject, with USADA insisting on the six-month rule before he can fight again. UFC CEO Dana White’s earlier comments were also scrutinized, with White initially stating, “Who cares what USADA says?” before later clarifying those comments.
The UFC is ending its partnership with USADA at the end of 2023, and McGregor’s status was reportedly a factor in this decision. However, the UFC and McGregor have maintained that they never sought an exemption for him and that he would adhere to the six-month rule.
Conor McGregor has been vocal about his status with USADA, leading to speculation that USADA is using his profile to garner media attention. The UFC thanked USADA for its work over the course of their eight-year partnership, but relations appear to have soured due to the recent disputes. McGregor remains inactive in the pool for now, with the UFC ending its partnership with USADA in 2024.