FIGHT star Conor McGregor has denied his retirement was linked to him being named as a sexual assault suspect by a US newspaper.
The Mixed Martial Arts fighter, 30, revealed – in a surprise announcement – that he was quitting the octagon yesterday, following an 11-year run in the sport.
Hours later, the New York Times reported that McGregor was at the centre of a sex assault probe after being arrested in Ireland back in January.
The star’s spokesman, Karen Kessler, said: “This story has been circulating for some time and it is unclear why it is being reported now.
“The assumption that the Conor retirement announcement today is related to this rumour is absolutely false.
“Should Conor fight in the future it must be in an environment where fighters are respected for their value, their skill, their hard work and their dedication to the sport.”
The statement did not directly address the allegations detailed in the NYT about McGregor, one of the highest paid athletes in the world.
The assumption that the Conor retirement announcement today is related to this rumour is absolutely false.
McGregor announced his retirement from UFC yesterday by referencing ‘Proper 12’, the whiskey brand he has founded.
He wrote on Twitter: “I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition. I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement. Proper Pina Coladas on me fellas!”
A spokesman for Ireland’s Gardai police service would not confirm today if McGregor is the suspect.
Released without charge
In a response related to an “unnamed sportsman”, it told the New York Times that a man had been arrested on January 17 and released without charge while investigations continue.
It added: “Investigations are ongoing in this case and at this time a file continues to be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.”
McGregor, a popular Mixed Martial Arts fighter, shot to wider fame when he participated in one of the most lucrative boxing matches ever – losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2017.
In July last year he pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct, after he threw a dolly at a bus during a promotional appearance at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Two fighters were injured by shattered glass.
In January, McGregor was suspended from fighting for six months and fined for his role in a brawl that took place after his defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October.
On March 11, McGregor was arrested in Miami Beach and charged with robbery and criminal mischief after he was accused of stealing a phone from British fan Ahmed Abdirzak.
His lawyer described the altercation as minor and said McGregor, who was released after posting bail, would cooperate with the police.
He was also in an Irish court last year over a 2017 speeding incident.
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