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USADA suspends Mirko Cro Cop two years for anti-doping violations

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Esther Lin

Prior to his scheduled bout against Anthony Hamilton, which was planned for UFC Fight Night 79 this weekend (Sat., Nov. 28, 2015) inside Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul, South Korea, Mirko Filipovic failed his pre-fight drug test.

As a result, "Cro Cop" has been handed a two-year suspension by United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after becoming the first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter to get busted for a performance-enhancing drug (PED) under its new policies.

From the report courtesy of USADA:

USADA announced today that Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, of Zagreb, Croatia, an athlete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), has received a 2-year sanction for his anti-doping policy violations.

Filipovic, 41, admitted to the use, attempted use, and possession of human growth hormone ("hGH") following an out-of-competition test conducted on November 4, 2015 in Zagreb, Croatia. On the day he was tested, prior to any results being reported, Filipovic contacted the UFC to advise them that he had been using hGH in violation of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy. Thereafter, on November 9, 2015, Filipovic admitted to USADA as well that he had been using the prohibited substance.

Human growth hormone is a Prohibited Substance in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors and Related Substances under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy. Due to Filipovic's prompt admission of his anti-doping policy violations, he avoided the imposition of a four-year sanction, as permitted under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy where aggravating circumstances are present.

Prior to the news of Mirko's failed drug test, the Croatian striker announced his retirement from active competition because of injuries, which means a two-year suspension probably won't mean much to him at this point.

Filipovic admitted to injecting himself with human growth hormone (HGH) to help his ailing shoulder, though his admission won't mean much in grand scheme of things.

Cro Cop made a successful return to the Octagon earlier this year by getting sweet revenge on Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC Fight Night 64 in Krakow, Poland.

If this truly is the end, Filipovic's career come to a halt on a three-fight win streak, but definitely not a high note.