- USADA has confirmed its partnership with the UFC will end Jan 1, 2024
- USADA CEO claimed the relationship became untenable over Conor McGregor
- McGregor was pushing to get a waiver of USADA drug testing policy
The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) shocked MMA fans when it announced that it had parted ways with the UFC –which is the premier MMA organization in the world. Their partnership will officially end on Jan 1, 2024.
The UFC and USADA have worked together for a number of years to clean up the sport of MMA and ensure that UFC athletes had a safe and drug free place to work in.
Relationship Untenable Over Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor who continues to be the biggest star in the UFC even though he hasn’t fought since UFC 264 which took place in July 2021 entered the USADA drug testing pool on Oct 08 after refusing to do so for most of 2023.
McGregor who is alleged to have taken substances to speed up his recovery from a horrific leg injury he suffered at UFC 264 was putting pressure for USADA to give him an exception to return to the Octagon and not go through the mandatory 6 month testing period that every UFC athlete is subjected to.
MMA fans had earlier alleged that USADA would give into the pressure of the UFC to get their biggest star back without going through the mandatory drug testing period but USADA did not yield to that pressure. Based on a statement released by Travis Tygart, CEO of USADA it appears their strict stance did not go down well with the UFC and made their relationship untenable. Last week we did report on a story relating to Conor McGregor teasing he may have returned to the USADA Testing Pool which has since been confirmed by USADA
USADA CEO Does Not Hold Back
A lot of times, what happens behind the scenes between big companies stays behind the scenes but in this case, Travis Tygart decided to get very transparent and share with the MMA community what transpired.
In a statement, Tygart said
We have been clear and firm with the UFC that there should be no exception given by the UFC for McGregor to fight until he has returned two negative tests and been in the pool for at least six months. The rules also allow USADA to keep someone in the testing pool longer before competing based on their declarations upon entry in the pool and testing results
Tygart went on to say
Unfortunately, we do not currently know whether the UFC will ultimately honor the six-month or longer requirement because, as of January 1, 2024, USADA will no longer be involved with the UFC Anti-Doping Program