UFC 229 has taken a hit just six days away from the event as “Sugar” Sean O’Malley has revealed he’s off the card due to a potential doping violation with USADA.
O’Malley revealed the news on his Instagram account on Sunday.
The UFC and USADA just recently announced a change to the program where they will no longer reveal a potential doping violation until after the adjudication process has already been completed.
O’Malley took it upon himself to reveal the information to explain why he’s no longer fighting Jose Quinonez on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
“I want to be the first to let you know about what’s going on,” O’Malley wrote on Instagram. “As many of you may have seen, the UFC announced this weekend that they are no longer announcing potential violations of the USADA program, because of the high number of unintentional use cases under the program and are instead waiting until the end. I find myself caught up in one of these exact cases right now. Even though under the new policy, my case would not be public right now, I feel it’s important to upfront and honest with my fans about why I’m not fighting next weekend.
“I’ve been working with Jeff Novitzky at the UFC and I believe that we have already identified a dietary supplement that would have caused this. We’ve sent the remaining samples from the bottle I took to the USADA lab and as well as a full sealed bottle. I’m told that the testing of these supplements can take as long as 30 days. I will continue to update you all about the findings, but I fully expect the results will be what I already know, that I did nothing on purpose.
“For everyone that follows me and was excited for my fight I’m truly sorry. It hurts a lot not being able to get out there and do what I love on the biggest stage. I have no intention of cheating and am fully confident that the results of this case will show that. I love my fans and I hope the impact on my career is minimal and I’m back to fighting real soon.”
It’s an unfortunate turn of circumstances for O’Malley, who was going to serve as the featured prelim on the biggest card of the year headlined by lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov against Conor McGregor.
Now O’Malley will have to watch from the sidelines as he awaits word from USADA on the outcome of his potential violation.
The UFC has made no official announcement regarding O’Malley being pulled from the card or what fight will now serve as the featured prelim on FS1 on Saturday night.