This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.
Note: This story has been updated with the new allegations about Conor McGregor.
The New York Times has reported that Conor McGregor is under investigation for sexual assault—the news breaking less than a day after the popular fighter announced his retirement.
The Irish MMA star was allegedly arrested and interviewed by Irish police in connection with a sexual assault investigation in January but wasn’t charged. The investigation is ongoing, according to the Times. The sexual assault is alleged to have taken place at the Beacon Hotel, located in south Dublin. The Times reported that McGregor is known to rent penthouses at the location—the last rental came in December.
The details of the alleged sexual assault were not disclosed in the story but the Times stated police attained evidence from the penthouse and the hotel’s closed circuit cameras.
The Times wrote that local media has been reporting on the alleged crime without naming anyone due to strict publication restrictions around rape charges in Ireland. The story goes on to say these restrictions compounded with the power and wealth of McGregor created a story that no local media would touch. “We don’t comment on rumors,” a publicist for McGregor told the Times.
The revelation comes less than a day after McGregor announced his retirement on Twitter.
“I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as “Mixed Martial Art” today,” reads the post. “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!"
To make matters relatively confusing, earlier in the night, while on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, the 30-year-old McGregor spoke about how he was negotiating with the UFC for a fight in July. A few hours after his guest spot aired, at around midnight EST, McGregor tweeted out his retirement message.
This isn't the first time the Irishman has retired via Twitter. In 2016—following his first ever loss and disputes between him and the UFC regarding media appearances—McGregor took to Twitter to post the wonderfully simple retirement message of “I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya's later.” However, it was not to be, and two days later McGregor walked back the comments and four months later walked into the octagon again to avenge his loss to Nate Diaz.
Since this isn’t a new move in McGregor’s repertoire, many have speculated this could be a leverage play for a greater payday for an upcoming fight, a way to hype said fight, or simply a way to get people talking about him again. Some more conspiratorial-minded fans have come away with the idea that since he wrote “Mixed Martial Art” and not “Mixed Martial Art*s*,” it’s all an elaborate ploy. It’s not the craziest thing to think, to be honest.
After the announcement, but before the allegations came to light, Dana White, the president of the UFC, told ESPN that he understands why McGregor would want to retire as “he has the money to retire and his whiskey is KILLIN it,” and that “if I was him I would retire too.” White has yet to comment on the allegations.
To say that McGregor has a controversial past would be putting it lightly. In the past five years he’s starred in a ton of the highest grossing UFC PPVs, assaulted his fellow fighters by throwing a dolly at a bus window, fought boxer Floyd Mayweather in one of the greatest money bouts of all time, became the first ever two belt champion, was charged after breaking a fan’s phone, started a whiskey company, and jumped into a cage and shoved a ref during a fight he wasn’t in.
The Times reported that the Irish police would not confirm if McGregor was a suspect in the investigation but did state that when asked about an “unnamed sportsman” the authorities said a file had been sent to “the national prosecutor’s office for consideration.”
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