Conor McGregor has sparked controversy lately after it was revealed that he had taken himself off the UFC’s anti-doping program while recovering from a broken leg sustained in his last fight.
While the former two-division champion must undergo a six-month drug test before being allowed to compete again, McGregor has not been released from his UFC contract and has not retired from the sport, which were usually the only two reasons an athlete is completely dropped out. from the program.
As special as it looks like, UFC welterweight Matt Brown says that ultimately McGregor is doing nothing wrong other than exposing a flaw in the current anti-doping policy.
“If you have criticism of this rule, you should criticize this rule, but anyone can do it,” Brown said on Fighter vs Writer. “Such a fair game for him for that. The ranking is questionable, and then I heard that he was trying to get an exception, like Brock Lesnar did when Brock returned to UFC 200.
“I don’t know why the UFC would do this for Conor because the fact that he fights in March or February against his fight in August or September doesn’t really change the point. He will be a draw no matter when he fights, while Brock Lesnar fought at UFC 200 when he was kind of given a two-month exemption to return without testing for six months.”
An exemption granted to Lesnar allowed him to return to UFC 200 competition after failing the typical retirement requirements, but he then tested positive for a banned substance, resulting in a disqualification.
Under the current version of the UFC’s anti-doping policy, fighters exiting the doping control pool must undergo six months of additional testing before being allowed to compete again, unless an exception is granted with a return of at least two blank pre-fight tests.
McGregor hinted at such a possibility when he first announced his absence from the UFC anti-doping program, although he first had to apply for an exemption and then the US Anti-Doping Agency had to grant one.
Either way, Brown doesn’t think what McGregor is doing right now is inherently wrong because the UFC’s anti-doping policy allows it, and he’s actually surprised other fighters haven’t done the same.
“I think we all know why [he dropped out of the testing pool] but it’s just a loophole,” Brown said. “We can all use it. Any of us can take advantage of this. I don’t think most of us make money he can afford so much free time, right? He has money, he is still quite young. He is young enough, he obviously has money. He doesn’t have to fight again if he doesn’t want to. Most guys, the vast majority of guys, can’t afford a year off, six months on steroids, and six months back in a testing pool. Otherwise, I guarantee you that many more people will do it. This is a simple loophole. There is no reason why guys wouldn’t do it.
“It always surprised me that no one used it to a greater extent when they fight once a year and immediately get out of the pool. Six months of steroids, six months of testing, another fight. I was surprised that nobody did it.”
It is not known if McGregor is currently using performance-enhancing drugs, although USADA does not test them, although Brown believes there are at least a few fighters who can already cheat the system, regardless of the UFC’s anti-doping program.
“Guys like Conor have the means, the doctors and the money to win,” Brown said. “I don’t know how. I don’t have access to these people to teach me or do it for me. Guys like him do it, so why don’t they do it?”
In the past, Brown has been much more critical of fighters using banned substances to potentially gain a competitive advantage, though his perspective has changed a lot in recent years.
“Last card before USADA, I fought Johnny Hendrix, I think was the co-main event – there’s no question he was pumped to hell,” Brown said. “So, at one time I had a lot of criticisms about this. But if you think about it critically and rationally, I was a fool for not doing it, especially before USADA. That was my fault.
“My views on this have changed a lot. I don’t necessarily hate guys for it. The next guy will do it too.”
As for McGregor’s current status, Brown says technically he’s not doing anything wrong right now and that’s all that really matters.
“He follows the rules,” Brown said. “You can’t hate him. He follows the damn rules.”