Conor McGregor will be subject to two anti-doping programmes ahead of his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr, the US' main drug-testing body has confirmed. The Irishman remains contracted to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and will continue to be tested by the sport, alongside the programme he has agreed to in the lead up to facing Mayweather on 26 August.
The 29-year-old has already been tested five times in 2017 by the UFC, though he is yet to be assessed by the United States Anti-doping Agency as part of the professional boxer pool. Both fighters have agreed to 'out-of-competition' testing ahead of the fight, which is expected to make an estimated $500m in revenue courtesy of pay-per-view buys, ticket sales and sponsorship deals.
Mayweather is subject to the same programme as McGregor due to his existing presence in the professional boxers pool but has been tested just twice – both in July 2017 – since retiring in 2015 following victory over Andre Berto. McGregor, meanwhile, was tested a total of 11 times last year, a 12-month period that saw him fight three times.
"Mr. McGregor is subject to both the UFC Anti-Doping Policy (because he's still an active UFC athlete) and the anti-doping programme agreed to for the Mayweather vs. McGregor boxing match,"a Usada spokesperson told MMA Fighting. "The programme is consistent with other professional boxing programmes USADA has conducted over the years where the athletes agree to robust testing.
"It primarily focuses on out-of-competition testing, all samples are analysed at WADA-accredited labs and the rules are consistent with the WADA Code and UFC Anti-Doping Policy. And like all our anti-doping programmes, we start by educating the athletes and their representatives to ensure they're properly informed of their rights and responsibilities."
The UFC was encouraged that Mayweather agreed to anti-doping regulations that allow both fighters to be tested "at any place and anytime", particularly in light of the American's chequered record. Talks over a fight with Manny Pacquiao in 2010 initially collapsed after Mayweather demanded that he and the Filipino underwent Olympic-style drug testing in the weeks leading up to a prospective bout.
In the wake of Mayweather's victory over Pacquiao when the fight was eventually held in May 2015, reports emerged alleging the unbeaten boxer broke World Anti-Doping Agency rules by taking an intravenous injection on the eve of the fight. Mayweather did not receive a therapeutic use exemption until three weeks after the bout, having initially been given the IV in order to assist re-hydration after the weigh-in. The five-division world champion was not found to have used illegal substances, but the manner in which they were administered was against the rules.