Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic became the first UFC fighter officially sanctioned under drug testing program of the UFC, which is administered by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

Earlier this month, Cro Cop pulled out of his UFC Fight Night 79 co-main event bout opposite Anthony Hamilton. However, he was provisionally suspended within days of his withdrawal because of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation. Later, Cro Cop admitted to using Human growth hormone (HGH) for healing the shoulder injury that eventually forced him out of the fight.

The retired Croatian heavyweight mixed martial artist recounted basic methods like massages and icing the shoulder did not help when his shoulder problems started. Cro Cop also recounted that he then went to blood plasma that went straight into the shoulder and he had a little mix of growth hormone with each blood plasma to make his shoulder heal faster.

A suspension of two years was issued by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for the violation, according to a UFC statement. The statement, recognizing the sanction, said 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. The statement also revealed that 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. It was further added that the 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. The UFC statement also said Cro Cop has subsequently announced his retirement from the sport after a storied career and UFC recognizes his accomplishments in the sport of mixed martial arts and wishes him well in future endeavors.

Following a 2011 loss to Roy Nelson, Cro Cop briefly retired from mixed martial arts but made a quick return over a year later to fight in Japan. Earlier this year, he returned to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) with a victory over Gabriel Gonzaga earlier this year.

The retired Croatian heavyweight mixed martial artist said he might be the first fighter who has ever been suspended after retirement. Filipovic also said maybe they think it is good for them to sanction someone that is well known as everyone knows the UFC has a deal with the USADA, an anti-doping agency, who now tests all fighters.

Considered one of the greatest heavyweights in kickboxing and mixed martial arts in history, Filipović was a martial arts enthusiast since his youth and his early martial arts inspirations were Bruce Lee and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Filipović became the second fighter in the world to win mixed martial arts and kickboxing championships and tournaments. Filipović is the 2006 Pride Open-Weight Grand Prix Champion and the 2012 K-1 World Grand Prix Champion. Signature move of the former Inoki Genome Federation Champion was his lightning quick left head-kick that was once described as “right leg, hospital; left leg, cemetery.”

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Mirko Cro Cop Suspended for Doping Violation