Just one day after announcing his retirement from the sport of mixed martial arts, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic has become the first UFC fighter to fail a drug test in the USADA era, officials told MMAjunkie.
The iconic Croatian fighter later admitted to using growth hormones, he said in a statement, per MMAjunkie.
“Growth hormones are on the list of banned substances,” Filipovic wrote. “I knew that already. But there was no other way to save my shoulder – at least in my mind – without combining the blood plasma with growth hormones.”
“Cro Cop” was scheduled to fight Anthony Hamilton at UFC Fight Night 79 in Seoul, South Korea. It would have been his second bout in 2015, and just his second bout since making his second return to the UFC after a four-year absence. He last defeated Gabriel Gonzaga in a rematch of their 2007 matchup, which saw Gonzaga knockout the Croatian legend with the same sort of head kick that made him an icon under the PRIDE banner.
The former PRIDE open-weight grand prix champion pulled out of his Nov. 28 fight with Hamilton at the Olympics Gymnastics Arena, citing a lingering shoulder injury that would prevent him from properly preparing for competition.
At 41 years old, “Cro Cop’s” fought his fair share of heavyweight royalty, stepping into the cage (or ring) with Frank Mir, Junior dos Santos, Josh Barnett, Wanderlei Silva, Mark Hunt, Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Fedor Emelianenko and Kazushi Sakuraba.
Nearly a hundred fighters have been tested since the UFC teamed up with USADA earlier this year. A total of 169 tests as of Nov. 4, not a single fighter failed a drug test prior to “Cro Cop.”