Chael Sonnen has dismissed the notion that Conor McGregor‘s exit from USADA’s testing pool surrounds the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
While 2022 has consistently seen an ever-increasing discussion on the return of McGregor, who’s been out of action since breaking his leg last July at UFC 264, the discourse has recently focused on some troublesome allegations for the Irishman.
Currently, the former two-division UFC titleholder is untested in 2022, a revelation that drew massive attention once the initial report came out. Soon after, it emerged that McGregor had removed himself from USADA’s testing pool.
Having expressed interest in fighting at welterweight moving forward and frequently displayed a bulked-up physique on social media, the testing exemption unsurprisingly incited claims that the Irishman has been using substances banned by the anti-doping agency during his recovery.
The claims have sparked conversation across the MMA community, with UFC light heavyweight Anthony Smith voicing his concern over McGregor’s ability to depart the pool in order to utilize substances unavailable to other athletes.
Sonnen, however, believes the fuss is over nothing.
Sonnen: ‘McGregor Is Having Fun With People’
During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, former fighter-turned-analyst Sonnen gave his take on the controversy surrounding McGregor’s USADA status ahead of his planned comeback.
Previously, “The American Gangster” has suggested there’s no doubt that the Irishman’s pictures on social media are photoshopped. As well as believing that as the explanation for McGregor’s size rather than PEDs, Sonnen’s now noted that had the former champ-champ committed the “crime” he’s accused of, he wouldn’t be posting it online.
“The thing on the Conor situation — Conor’s clean. He’s been trolling. He’s been having fun with people,” Sonnen said. “Come on, a guy doesn’t go out and do a crime and then document the crime. Conor put the pictures out! He’s having fun with people. He’s clean.”
When asked about McGregor’s back and forth with Smith, during which the Dublin native didn’t appear to deny using substances to aid his recovery, Sonnen suggested that the former lightweight and featherweight king is actually looking to encourage the accusations.
“I believe Conor has chosen his words very carefully. I believe he’s creating conversation. I know that every word he said is to make you insinuate that he’s avoiding the pool for scandalous reasons,” Sonnen stated. “He knew what he was doing.”
Sonnen has also previously provided his own theory for McGregor’s lack of testing. The former light heavyweight and middleweight title challenger believes the Irishman’s exit from the USADA testing pool derives from his desire to avoid the much-criticized whereabouts violations.
Do you agree with Chael Sonnen’s take on accusations of steroid usage against Conor McGregor?
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