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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Farah Hannoun

Beneil Dariush calls ‘BS’ on Conor McGregor’s USADA situation, thinks he’s cheating

Beneil Dariush thinks Conor McGregor removed himself from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) testing pool for a reason.

McGregor (22-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) is yet to be tested by USADA since he broke his leg in a TKO loss to Dustin Poirier in July 2021. He’s expected to face Michael Chandler later this year, but McGregor still hasn’t re-entered the program.

McGregor suggested that with two clean tests he’d be good to go, but USADA responded with a statement to re-clarify the rules, which entail six months in the testing pool before McGregor is eligible to return. The UFC can waive the six-month testing period under “exceptional circumstances,” but Dariush is skeptical of the whole situation.

“I think Conor is cheating,” Dariush said in an interview with The Schmo. “In reality, if you want to fix your knee or you want to fix your leg and get certain growth hormones or whatever he’s doing, you can get a therapeutic exemption. You can speak to USADA and get a therapeutic exemption – but you can’t add extra stuff. Whatever you are putting in, you have to declare with them and get it figured out.

“This is BS, to be honest with you. The fact that they say, ‘Oh, while he’s doing this, he’s not getting tested right now because of his leg.’ No – you can still get tested. You just have to declare and say, ‘Hey, this was a therapeutic exemption.’ But that’s not the case (with McGregor). He even put down ‘retirement’ (on forms), so he went into retirement, I guess. USADA recently said when you come out of retirement, you need six months and two clean tests. So this is garbage. But that’s the game.”

Just as Dariush was wrapping up his interview, the lightweight contender was surprised with a visit from Jeff Novitzky to honor him for his milestone of 50 clean USADA drug tests. Dariush meets Charles Oliveira in the UFC 288 co-main event on May 6.

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