Despite the fact there is now no physical evidence that Croatian fighter Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic took human growth hormone (HGH), the fact he admitted to taking it is enough to uphold his two year ban from mixed martial arts (MMA).
According to Croatian media outlet Vecernji, Cro Cop received his drug test results from USADA yesterday (Jan. 8, 2016) and they were all negative.
But that doesn't change anything, as evidenced by an email to MMAfighting.com by USADA spokesperson Annie Skinner:
"Regardless of whether Mr. Filipovic was actively using a prohibited substance during the time of his test, he admitted to the use, attempted use, and possession of human growth hormone (hGH), which are all violations of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy."
To quote Homer Simpson, "DOH!"
Cro Cop, 41, admitted he took HGH to rehab an injured shoulder prior to his cancelled bout against Anthony Hamilton at UFC Fight Night 79 in Seoul, South Korea:
"Growth hormones are on the list of banned substances. I knew that already. But there was no other way to save my shoulder -- at least in my mind -- without combining the blood plasma with growth hormones."
Well, they say honesty is the best policy. But I find lying helps a lot more. His admission of guilt earned him a two-year suspension from the sport, and at his age that was basically a retirement watch.
Cro Cop expressed disappointed at the time but admitted it was better to go out on a three fight win streak than to lose and be "forced to retire" by his bosses.
Unless a #FreeNickDiaz petition gets going for Cro Cop, it looks like the clean USADA test changes nothing.