Conor McGregor Under Investigation in Ireland for Sexual Assault

Conor McGregor after pleading guilty to a disorderly conduct charge in Brooklyn last year.
Timothy A. Clary/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Conor McGregor, the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s biggest star and one of the world’s highest-paid athletes, is under investigation in Ireland after a woman accused him of sexual assault in December, according to four people familiar with the investigation.

McGregor has not been charged with a crime. Following the usual protocol in criminal investigations in Ireland and much of Europe, where a formal charge does not necessarily follow an arrest, McGregor was arrested in January, questioned by law enforcement authorities and released pending further investigation, according to the people.

The allegations have not been proved, and the fact that an investigation is continuing does not imply that McGregor is guilty of a crime. A lawyer for McGregor in Dublin did not respond to messages seeking comment.

On Tuesday, McGregor announced his retirement from U.F.C., though a spokeswoman said it was unrelated to the investigation.

“I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition,’’ he wrote on Twitter. “I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement. Proper Pina Coladas on me fellas!” (Proper No. Twelve is a whiskey brand he founded.)

McGregor has fought only once since 2016, a bout in October that he lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov, and he has previously announced a retirement, only to come back.

The woman making the allegation said it had occurred at the Beacon Hotel, an establishment attached to a business park on the edge of Dublin. There is little to suggest it would be a haunt for one of Ireland’s best-known sports figures, a multimillionaire with a loyal, global fan base. McGregor is an occasional guest there, usually booking its sole penthouse room, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The last and most recent visit occurred in December.

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SOURCE: The New York Times, Tariq Panja