Photo: Ronald Martinez (Getty)

UFC fighter Conor McGregor is under investigation by Irish police for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman in a Dublin hotel in December, according to the New York Times’s Tariq Panja. McGregor hasn’t been charged with a crime, though he was arrested and questioned by Irish authorities on Jan. 17. Shortly before the news broke today, McGregor announced that he was once again retiring from MMA, which he’s pretended to do before.

Shortly after McGregor’s arrest in January, the Irish Times and RTE both reported that someone had been arrested for questioning over a sexual assault that allegedly occurred on Dec. 9 in a Dublin hotel. The Irish Times only identified the alleged perpetrator as a “sportsman” and while RTE did not post any identifying information, a supposed internal communique leaked weeks afterward from inside RTE said that McGregor presented himself to Irish authorities for questioning regarding a “recent assault allegation.”

While the Irish media has been on top of the story, libel laws are much stronger over there, and the media does not identify rape suspects until a charge has been filed. The fear of a lawsuit seems to have kept a lid on the arrest until today:

In the McGregor case, some newsrooms in Ireland have barred employees at meetings from even mentioning his name in connection with the case. Managers have asked staff members to refer to him as the “famous sportsman,” according to a journalist at one of Ireland’s national newspapers.

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The alleged sexual assault occurred at Dublin’s Beacon Hotel, of which the Times reports McGregor is an “occasional guest” of the hotel’s penthouse suite. His most recent visit reportedly came in December, and an anonymous person “familiar with the hotel operations” said McGregor was there the night before the alleged assault. The cops reportedly have collected physical evidence and are reviewing CCTV footage. Neither the UFC nor McGregor’s publicist issued a comment to the Times, though a rep for McGregor said, “We don’t comment on rumors.”

McGregor is currently serving a six-month suspension for his role in the melee that followed his defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October. Earlier this month, he was arrested in Miami for allegedly grabbing a fan’s phone and breaking it.

[New York Times]


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