Just one week from UFC 229, set to go down this Sat. night (Oct., 6, 2018) in Las Vegas, Nevada, top bantamweight prospect Sean O’Malley was yanked from his Jose Quinonez fight after “Suga” failed a drug test administered by United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
The news was broken by O’Malley on social media since Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will no longer reveal potential violations until the proceedings are complete.
Sean, however, wanted to be transparent with the mixed martial arts (MMA) community, and continued to do so during an interview on the Ariel Helwani MMA Show, revealing what exactly he tested positive for.
“It’s called ostarine. I guess that’s the one that catches everyone that is kind of in all these random pills,” he said. “I feel like there has to be a new rule implemented or something because this has happened too many times.”
For O’Malley, it’s a crucial blow as his contest against Jose — which was set to be the featured preliminary fight — was his first bout on his re-structured deal and was set to give him his biggest payday to date.
“It’s just not fair because I was about to go make a six-figure payday, my stock was about to go up and I was going to go knock this dude out in the first round. I am getting punished for something I didn’t do intentionally,” he added, while revealing caffeine pills could be at the root of the problem.
“I’m really hoping it’s these caffeine pills I took. I didn’t think anything of it. Obviously the ingredients on the caffeine pills are all USADA-approved, but what wasn’t in the ingredients is what I popped for, so it sucks.”
As for why he decided to be up-front with his failed drug test -- which he knew of 10 days ago — he says it was all about being honest with his supporters.
“I had this guilty feeling in my stomach not to tell my fans why I am not fighting. No one knew, no one was releasing that I wasn’t fighting,” he said. “So I felt the need to. I am not to worried about people thinking I’m on steroids or trying to cheat. It’s just not me. I think the fans know deep down that I am not trying to cheat.”
Sean hopes to receive a lenient sentence that doesn’t involve snitching once the dust settles, which will allow him to return before the end of the year, possibly at UFC 232 on Dec. 29, in “Sin City.”