Sean O’Malley faces the first step in attempting to get back in the Octagon next week.
The top UFC bantamweight prospect will go before the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) for a disciplinary hearing Nov. 14 in Las Vegas, which will address his failed out-of-competition drug test in September. The information comes form the NAC meeting agenda posted to the commission’s website.
O’Malley was pulled from his scheduled UFC 229 fight with Jose Quiñonez due to the positive test and a provisional suspension from USADA, the UFC’s anti-doping partner. In addition to USADA, the NAC holds jurisdiction in the case, because of its relationship to O’Malley’s scheduled fight, which would have been in Las Vegas on Oct. 6.
O’Malley has been very open about the case, announcing it himself on social media, in accordance with the UFC’s new policy that the promotion will not announce positive drug tests until the completion of the USADA investigation and adjudication process. He said last month on Ariel Helwani’s ESPN show that he tested positive for a low dose of the performance-enhancing drug ostarine.
Under USADA, O’Malley is facing a two-year suspension. The Nevada commission does not have to follow those same guidelines.
O’Malley has been adamant that he did not knowingly take the banned substance, saying it likely came from a tainted supplement. If O’Malley is able to prove he did not intentionally ingest the substance through testing of supplements, he will likely get a reduced suspension.
“I am getting punished for something I didn’t do intentionally,” O’Malley said on Helwani’s show. ... “I’m really hoping it’s these caffeine pills I took. I didn’t think anything of it. Obviously the ingredients on the caffeine pills are all USADA-approved, but what wasn’t in the ingredients is what I popped for, so it sucks.”
O’Malley, 24, has won both of his UFC fights coming off a first-round, highlight-reel knockout on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series last year. The MMA Lab product has been tabbed as a potential future in the UFC. O’Malley (10-0) was in store for a big 2019 and still could be, depending on the sanctions handed down from the Nevada commission and USADA.