Breaking – UFC set to end relationship with anti-Doping agency USADA at the beginning of 2024

UFC set to end relationship with drug testing USADA at the beginning of 2024

Confirming the re-entry of former two-weight champion, Conor McGregor to the agency’s testing pool tonight in an official press release – anti-doping testing group, USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) has confirmed their relationship and programe with the UFC will come to an official end at the beginning of the year.

USADA, headed up by now-UFC official, Jeff Novitsky, began an infamous anti-doping testing programe and protocol with the Dana White-led organization back in 2015, in a bid to help clean up the sport of mixed martial arts, following multiple and flagrant anti-doping violations by athletes in the last decade. 

However, in an official press release tonight, whilst confirming the re-entry of ex-two-weight UFC champion, McGregor back into the testing pool – whom called for their relationship with the promotion to be axed earlier this year, also confirmed their partnership with the UFC would cease at the beginning of 2024.

READ MORE:  Sean Strickland kinda-sorta apologizes for comments about Israel Adesanya's dog: 'I might of been a little insensitive'

UFC set to end relationship with USADA at the beginning of next year

“We can confirm that Conor McGregor has re-entered the USADA testing pool as of Sunday, October 8. 2023,” An official USADA statement read. “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.”

“Unfortunately, we do not currently know whether the UFC will ultimately honor the six-monht or longer requirement because, as of January 1. 2024, USADA will no longer be involved with the UFC Ani-Doping Program. Despite a positive and productive meeting about a contract renewal in May 2023, the UFC did an about-face and informed United States Anti-Doping Agency on Monday, October 9. that it was going in a different direction.”

READ MORE:  Video - Footage of Sean O'Malley injuring his rib 6 weeks ahead of Aljamain Sterling fight released

“We are disappointed for UFC athletes, who are independent contractors why rely on our independent, gold-standard global program to protect their rights to a clean, safe, and fair Octagon. The UFC’s move impends the imperils the immense progress made within the sport under USADA’s leadership.”

“The relationship between United States Anti-Doping Agency and UFC became untenable given the statements made by UFC leaders and others questioning USADA’s principled stance that McGregor not be allowed to fight without being in the testing pool for at least six months. One UFC commentator echoed this, recently declaring that USADA should not oversee the UFC program since we held firm to the six-month rule involving McGregor, and since we do not allow fighters without an approved medical basis to use performance-enhancing drugs like experimental, unapproved peptides or testosterone for healing or injuries simply to get back in the Octagon.”

READ MORE:  Michael Chandler remains cryptic amid uncertainty on UFC 303: 'When you encounter resistance, go right through it'

“Fighters’ long-term health and safety — in addition to a fair and level field — are more important to USADA than short-term profits at the expense of clean athletes. USADA is proud of the work we’ve done over the past eight year to clean up the UFC, and we will continue to provide our unparalleled service to UFC athletes through the remainder of our current contract, which ends December 31. 2023. As always, we will continue to uphold the rights and voices of clean athletes in all sports.” 

What are your thoughts on USADA’s relationship with UFC coming to an end?