The New York Times reported Tuesday that former UFC double champion Conor McGregor is under investigation for a sexual assault that took place in Dublin in December of 2018.
The Times reported that four people familiar with the investigation have confirmed rumors that were somewhat well known within the sports world in Ireland, but couldn’t be reported because Irish laws do not allow identifying individuals charged with rape until conviction.
The story said McGregor was arrested in January, questioned at the time, and was then released.
A McGregor spokesperson released a brief statement to media members:
“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 rumor 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.”
Dating back to December and January, parts of this story were making the rounds in Irish media. The Irish Mirror reported that a famous sports star was accused of a sexual assault in a Dublin Hotel on December 10th with police confirming a complaint of rape was made by a women in an early hours incident.
In January, there were reports of a well-known sports star who was arrested and claimed when talking to police that it was consensual sex. The Independent claimed the man was released without a charge but a source said it was a very credible case. They said the suspect admitted having sex, and the woman underwent a number of tests after being taken to the hospital in an ambulance.
The NYT listed the location as the Beacon Hotel in Dublin. McGregor was reportedly an occasional guest there, usually staying at the hotel’s lone penthouse room. He was last booked in the hotel in December.
The story listed a source with knowledge of the investigation that police have secured closed-circuit camera footage.
The NYT stated, and we can confirm, that media in Ireland had barred employees at meetings from even hinting at a name past using the term “famous sportsman”.
RTE had an internal memo that leaked out on January 18 which said McGregor was at the police station at 5 PM the previous day, but on its’ broadcasts, they covered a man being questioned on a a rape charge without listing his name.