Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic recently retired from MMA in the midst of a doping scandal. Cro Cop admitted to out of competition use of HGH shortly after being subject to USADA testing and now has the distinction of being the first fighter to be sanctioned under the UFC’s/USADA anti doping regime.
He was handed a 2 year ban with USADA noting it could have been 4 years but for his prompt admission of wrongdoing.
The USADA released the following press release:
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.
Filipovic’s period of ineligibility began on November 9, 2015, the date he first admitted to his anti-doping policy violations to USADA. In addition, Filipovic has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to October 30, 2015, the date on which he first used hGH in violation of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, including forfeiture of any title, ranking, purse or other compensation.
“Ultimately, our goals are to keep the Octagon clean and to protect the rights of clean athletes within the UFC,” said USADA CEO Travis Tygart. “Not only do athletes need to consider their health and safety when it comes to the use of prohibited substances, but also the damage that such use can inflict on their own legacy.”
USADA conducts the year-round, independent anti-doping program for all UFC athletes. USADA is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental agency whose sole mission is to preserve the integrity of competition, inspire true sport, and protect the rights of clean athletes. The anti-doping program run by USADA for UFC athletes includes education, science and research, testing, and results management. Official UFC Anti-Doping Program information and athlete resources are available at UFC.USADA.org.