Can someone who understands the ins and outs of USADA's rules explain something: The last time he announced his retirement (prior to Diaz II) there was a lot of comment about how he would have to decide fairly quickly whether it was for real or not, due to the requirement for fighters who have any possibility of fighting again in the near future being signed up with USADA for random drug testing, in and out of competition.
How often are these tests done, roughly speaking, and more importantly, how long does a fighter have to be signed up to them before they can be cleared to fight? For instance, let's suppose Conor stops being tested and legitimately retires for six months, and then decides to "come out of retirement" for a fight. Once he announces this, he'll obviously again be subject to the USADA regime, but since the tests are random and presumably need to be done a few times in order to ensure that someone really is entirely clean, how long after re-submitting to the testing regime would he be allowed to fight? I presume there's a minimum time requirement between initially signing up to those tests, and being allowed to step into the Octagon or even announce a fight?
Essentially I'm just wondering, if he does follow through on this and pull out of all his drug testing requirements as a result, what sort of timeframe then becomes the absolute minimum between deciding to return, and actually being allowed to. I presume it's at least a month or two?
EDIT: Yikes. The info was easier to find than I had expected, and apparently it's six full months between re-submitting to USADA and being allowed to compete
He has to formally write to them to withdraw and officially retire, so basically there are two possibilities here:
(a) He's serious about it for the time being at least, and will therefore withdraw from testing and thus face a minimum six month wait from the day he decides to come back, if he does - or,
(b) He's either not serious at all, or he's serious about it, but he'll discreetly continue to be tested on the basis that he might decide to come back.
So assuming the announcement is legit, it basically depends whether his mindset has any finality to it, or whether he's already decided privately that he might be open to changing his mind. If it's the former, we could be looking at a looooooooong wait to see him fight again, if he actually pulls the trigger on withdrawing from USADA for retirement.