On Thursday, kickboxing and MMA legend Mirko Filipovic Cro Cop admitted his use of performance-enhancing drugs following a provisional suspension issued by the USADA.
The entire situation is unclear, as Cro Cop says he was forced to retire due to an accumulation of injuries. The former PRIDE FC heavyweight champion was set to take on Anthony Hamilton at UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. Alves on November 28th, however, Cro Cop pulled out of the bout citing a shoulder injury. The 41-year-old claimed he used growth hormone as a last resort to heal his shoulder.
“When my shoulder problems started, basic methods like massages and icing the shoulder did not help,” Cro Cop said. “Then I went to blood plasma which went straight into my shoulder. With each blood plasma, I had a little mix of growth hormone to make my shoulder heal faster.
Earlier today, the USADA released a statement to MMAFighting.com to provide further clarification on the matter.
“As the independent organization in charge of the UFC Anti-Doping program, USADA handles all results management and adjudication processes in accordance with the UFC rules,” Skinner wrote in an email. “Although Mr. Filipovic has announced his retirement publicly, this case was initiated prior to his retirement, and as required by the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will be fully adjudicated.”
Since the UFC’s collaboration with the United States Anti-Doping Agency in July, Mirko Cro Cop is the first fighter to be provisionally suspended. The Croatian ended his career with an avenged win over Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC Fight Night 64 in April.
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