The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced today the suspension of UFC heavyweight Mirko “CroCop” Filipovic for testing positive for human growth hormone (HGH) in a November 4th out-of-competition drug test.
The suspension period starts from November 9th, the day Filipovic admitted to the violations.
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The 41-year-old Filipovic was originally scheduled to fight Anthony Hamilton at UFC Fight Night 79 in Seoul, Korea before the incident.
The UFC released the following statement on their website.
UFC secured the services of USADA, a third-party agency, earlier this year to administer its Anti-Doping Policy to ensure that all athletes compete on an even playing field, free of performance enhancing drugs. UFC appreciates Cro Cop’s disclosure and admission of usage of a prohibited substance, and supports the issuance of necessary sanctions to maintain a clean sport.
Cro Cop has subsequently announced his retirement from the sport after a storied career. UFC recognizes his accomplishments in the sport of mixed martial arts and wishes him well in future endeavors.
The USADA is the official independent anti-doping contractor for the UFC. Filipovic is the first UFC fighter to be suspended under its guidelines, which began July 1st.
“Ultimately, our goals are to keep the Octagon clean and to protect the rights of clean athletes within the UFC,” USADA CEO Travis Tygart said in the statement. “Not only do athletes need to consider their health and safety when it comes to the use of prohibited substances, but also the damage that such use can inflict on their own legacy.”
The USADA’s UFC anti-doping policy can be viewed here.