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USADA officially announces two-year suspension for Mirko Cro Cop

Mirko Filipovic says he's retired, but the USADA handed down their punishment for his HGH usage nonetheless.

Tomokazu Tazawa/Getty Images

The USADA has put the final nail in the coffin of Mirko Cro Cop's long career today. The Croatian fighter had retired after a shoulder injury forced him off the UFC Seoul card, but following that announcement, he was flagged by the anti-doping organization for a possible drug test failure. The next day, Cro Cop admitted to using HGH to fix an injured shoulder, and said that he's probably the only fighter ever sanctioned after he retired.

Well, today the USADA announced his official suspension - two years. Here's a portion of their 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."

The UFC also issued a short statement:

UFC recognizes the two-year sanction issued today to Mirko Cro Cop by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for violations of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.

UFC secured the services of USADA, a third-party agency, earlier this year to administer its Anti-Doping Policy to ensure that all athletes compete on an even playing field, free of performance enhancing drugs. UFC appreciates Cro Cop’s disclosure and admission of usage of a prohibited substance, and supports the issuance of necessary sanctions to maintain a clean sport.

Cro Cop has subsequently announced his retirement from the sport after a storied career. UFC recognizes his accomplishments in the sport of mixed martial arts and wishes him well in future endeavors."

The 41-year-old Filipovic (31-11-2, 1 NC, 5-6) returned to the organization earlier this year and defeated Gabriel Gonzaga in April. He is a former Pride Openweight Grand Prix champ and K-1 World GP champ, and had been fighting professionally since 1996.

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