Although he retired in the days leading up to the public revelation that he had failed a UFC drug test, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic on Wednesday became the first UFC fighter officially sanctioned under the promotion’s drug testing program administered by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
Cro Cop pulled out of his UFC Fight Night 79 co-main event bout opposite Anthony Hamilton earlier this month, but within days of his withdrawal was provisionally suspended due to a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation.
“When my shoulder problems started, basic methods like massages and icing the shoulder did not help,” he recounted. “Then I went to blood plasma which went straight into my shoulder. With each blood plasma, I had a little mix of growth hormone to make my shoulder heal faster.”
USADA has now issued Cro Cop a two-year suspension for the violation, according to a UFC statement recognizing the sanction.
“UFC recognizes the two-year sanction issued today to Mirko Cro Cop by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for violations of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.
“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.”
Cro Cop briefly retired from mixed martial arts following a 2011 loss to Roy Nelson, but returned a little over a year later to fight in Japan. He returned to the UFC earlier this year with a victory over Gabriel Gonzaga, but after having to pull out of the fight with Hamilton and the subsequent suspension, it sounds as if Cro Cop is done fighting for good.
“I might be the first fighter who has ever been suspended after retirement. Maybe they think it is good for them to sanction someone that is well known. As you all know, the UFC has a deal with the USADA, an anti doping agency, who now tests all fighters,” Cro Cop said after the anti-doping violation was made public.
“This calling out and suspensions have no meaning anymore, but I do understand the UFC; I get it. They just want to defend themselves.
“Now it will come out that I was taking illegal substances or doping or something, but it is not like that. Now it is what it is; God forbid there is no more trouble.”
Filipovic’s career record stands at 31-11-2, 1 NC. Prior to announcing his retirement, the Croatian was on a three-fight winning streak.