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12th Nov 2015

UFC reveal Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ was the first to fail new anti-doping test before he retired

Ben Kiely

PRIDE legend Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic officially retired from MMA this week, but it looks he will soon be suspended from the sport as well.

The UFC announced that the legendary heavyweight is the first athlete to fail the company’s new anti-doping policy, administered by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). The promotion did not mention the substance found in Filipovic was flagged for.

Here’s the statement in full:

‘UFC announced today that a scheduled bout between Mirko Cro Cop and Anthony Hamilton in Seoul, South Korea has been canceled. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has notified both Mirko Cro Cop and UFC that he has been provisionally suspended at this time due to a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation.

‘USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Cro Cop. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time in the process.’

Filipovic posted an announcement on his official website on Tuesday, declaring that a shoulder injury forced him to pull out of the fight with Hamilton.

‘I tried to save a shoulder injury and repair in all possible ways: daily therapy, injections of blood plasma and various cocktails of drugs but didn’t work out,’ he said.

‘The only cure would be a break of two to three weeks, and that I could not afford in the midst of final preparations. By daily trainings the injury gets worse. Part of the muscle is snapped, the shoulder is filled with a lot of fluids, and the great danger is that tendon ruptures and then go to operation again.’

Filipovic (31-11-2 MMA, 5-6 UFC) rose to prominence in the now defunct Japanese promotion PRIDE. He made his highly anticipated UFC debut in 2007 but left the promotion after going 1-2. He then returned in 2009 and went 3-4 before announcing his first retirement.

He quickly came back to combat sports to compete in kickboxing and other MMA promotions before re-signing for the UFC in 2015. However, this new drugs test revelation will see that his decorated career ends on a disappointing note.