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Mirko Cro Cop passes out-of-competition drug test ahead of Bellator 200

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Mirko Cro Cop appears good to go for Bellator 200. For now.

Cro Cop passed an out-of-competition drug test, stemming from a sample collected April 5 in his home country of Croatia, Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation director Mike Mazzulli confirmed with MMA Fighting on Wednesday. Mazzulli, the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC) president who regulates Bellator overseas shows, traveled himself to Croatia to collect the sample.

The results were analyzed at Quest Diagnostics in the United States and returned Wednesday, Mazzulli said. MMAjunkie was the first to report the drug-test results.

Cro Cop, 43, meets Roy Nelson at Bellator 200 on May 25 in London. His being booked on the card came under some scrutiny earlier this year, because technically he is still suspended by USADA after admitting use of human-growth hormone in 2015. Cro Cop retired from the UFC thereafter, leaving the USADA drug-testing pool, so his suspension was frozen.

USADA suspensions are noted in the ABC internal database, but they do not have to be honored by athletic commissions. USADA is the UFC’s anti-doping partner and not a regulatory body.

Because it has been more than two years since Cro Cop was flagged by USADA and commissions don’t have to follow USADA rules, Mazzulli told MMA Fighting last month that it was only fair to allow Cro Cop to fight for Bellator — provided he passes the necessary out-of-competition drug tests

“I always look out for the best interests of the fighters,” Mazzulli said. “Cro Cop has not fought in the United States for a while. He was suspended for two years. I’m 110-percent positive that if any other commission in the ABC — in the United States — if they had him suspended, I would not have him fight. I highly doubt Bellator would allow him to fight.”

Mazzulli would not say if Cro Cop will be tested again before his fight Nelson next month in England. He did say that the former Pride and UFC legend would be subject to an in-competition drug test on fight night.