When Mirko CroCop announced, earlier this week, that he had suffered a shoulder injury in training and was deciding to end his MMA career, it seemed like a pretty run of the mill story for an athlete coming to grips with aging in a sport that does not treat getting older kindly. Now, it looks like there may be an unfortunate new twist to the story as to why one of MMA's legendary heavyweights has chosen this moment to retire: A drug test violation.
The UFC announced via press release that CroCop has been "provisionally suspended" following USADA's notification to the promotion for a potential "Anti-Doping Policy violation":
"UFC announced today that a scheduled bout between Mirko Cro Cop and Anthony Hamilton in Seoul, South Korea has been canceled. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has notified both Mirko Cro Cop and UFC that he has been provisionally suspended at this time due to a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation.
"USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Cro Cop. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time in the process."
Also included in the press release was an update on CroCop's planned opponent, Anthony Hamilton, who will apparently be re-booked for an upcoming UFC card against a new opponent. Stay tuned for more information as the story develops.