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USADA: Mirko Cro Cop still suspended despite report stating he didn't fail drug test

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Mirko Cro Crop may have never failed a drug test. That doesn't mean his suspension will be rescinded.

The Croatian media outlet Vecernji reported Saturday that Cro Cop received his drug test results from USADA on Friday and that they were all negative. Vecernji reported that Cro Cop, the MMA legend, got an email with the results from USADA CEO Travis Tygart.

That information might be accurate, but Cro Cop's two-year suspension will still stand, USADA spokesperson Annie Skinner told MMA Fighting.

"Regardless of whether Mr. Filipovic was actively using a prohibited substance during the time of his test, he admitted to the use, attempted use, and possession of human growth hormone (hGH), which are all violations of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy," Skinner said.

Cro Cop, 41, informed USADA in November that he injected hGH due to injury in an attempt to stay in a fight with Anthony Hamilton at UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. Masvidal in South Korea. USADA provisionally suspended Cro Cop for a violation of the UFC's anti-doping policy and the UFC pulled him from the card on Nov. 10.

Cro Cop, whose real name is Mirko Filipovic, said a day earlier that he pulled out of the fight due to an injury and would be retiring from MMA. Skinner told MMA Fighting at the time that the anti-doping case against him began before he announced his retirement.

On Nov. 25, the UFC announced that after an adjudication process USADA had suspended Cro Cop for two years due to a substance violation.

"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," the UFC statement read. "On the day he was tested, prior to any results being reported, Filipovic contacted the UFC to advise 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."

Cro Cop wrote on his website in November that he had a doctor inject a small amount of hGH and plasma to help with a shoulder injury that would not heal. He said he was "desperate" to make the fight against Hamilton. Cro Cop said he was tested by USADA six days into the treatment. Knowing he had used a banned substance, Cro Cop said he informed the UFC immediately.

Skinner would not comment on whether or not Cro Cop failed a test, but to USADA it does not matter since Cro Cop admitted to taking a prohibited drug.

If he never informed on himself, there's a chance he would have never been found out. It is very difficult to test for hGH, according to most experts.

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