Former PRIDE legend Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic has been suspended for two years following his failed drug test prior to UFC Fight Night 79.
Retiring before revealing the results of the test, “Cro Cop” later admitted to using human growth hormones to help heal an injured shoulder before his match with Anthony Hamilton. He pulled out of his fight and retired, claiming the shoulder would not heal properly in time for his fight.
“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 a 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 UFC also released a statement regarding Filipovic’s suspension:
“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.”
The Croatian fighter, 41, is 4-1 in his last four matches. He was set to make his third return to the UFC this month, after spending the last three years competing outside of the Octagon. He went 4-6 in his first two stints with Zuffa, but racked up a 31-11 record competing in total. He previously competed under the PRIDE, DREAM and K-1 banners since 2001.