Saturday 16 December 2017

Irish Sports Council conducted tests on UFC fighters despite not recognising MMA as a sport

Conor McGregor. Photo: Getty Images
Conor McGregor. Photo: Getty Images
Cormac Byrne

Cormac Byrne

The Irish Sports Council has conducted testing on Irish UFC fighters despite not recognising Mixed Martial Arts as a sport.

MMA does not receive any government fundung because it is not recognised by the Irish Sports Council.

That stance may be about to change after the Council revealed in its anti-doping annual review that it had signed an agreement with USADA to conduct testing on UFC fighters on their behalf.

Last month, Jose Adlo, who Conor McGregor knocked out in December to claim the UFC featherweight title, claimed that he wanted the Dubliner tested on a weekly basis because 'they don't have an athletic commission in Ireland. They have no rules'.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) confirmed that Conor McGregor tested clean for any banned substances before, during and after UFC 196.

The Council performed 13 tests in total on UFC fighters, six in competition urine tests, five out of competition urine tests and two blood tests.

The report also reveals that blood testing increased by 5pc in 2015 and that testing paid for by sporting organisations was up by 21pc.

Whereabouts failures fell dramatically by 80pc from 18 in 2013 to four in 2014.

It was also disclosed that 95 tests were carried out on GAA players last year.

Anti-Doping_Annual Review_2015_infographics2.jpg

There were three violations in 2015.

Amateur Irish Touring Car driver Gareth Hayden was banned from the sport for 15 months in January after testing positive for a banned substance following a race at Mondello park on June 7.

The 35-year-old driver's sample tested positive for the presence of a the prohibited substance, Benzoylecgonine which is a metabolite of cocaine.

Monaghan footballer Thomas Connolly was given a two-year ban last June after testing positive for anabolic steroids.

Connolly tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid stanozolol (3’-hydroxystanozolol glucuronide) and became the first player in the history of the GAA to be banned for using performance enhancing drugs.

He tested positive in an out-of-competition test on February 13, 2015, shortly after joining the senior panel for the 2015 National League.

The third violation relates to an unnamed League of Ireland player who tested positive for Benzoylecgonine which is a metabolite of cocaine.

The PFAI revealed last year that one of the players they represent was charged with an Anti Doping Rule Violation and that he was contesting the charge.

No sanction has been handed down yet, according to the report.

The view the Irish Sports Council's review in full click here

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