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Sean O’Malley finally settles drug testing saga, accepts six-month suspension from USADA

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Sean O’Malley’s long and winding road back to the Octagon has finally been cleared.

The former Dana White Contender Series veteran hasn’t fought since March 2018 due to the ongoing saga after he failed a series of drug tests. Now he’s accepted a six-month suspension from USADA, and his next fight is already booked against Jose Quinonez at UFC 248 on March 7.

“O’Malley, 25, tested positive for ostarine as the result of out-of-competition urine samples he provided on August 6, 2019 and August 12, 2019,” USADA officials announced in a statement. “His two positives, as well as additional positives collected after August 12, 2019, were treated as a single violation because the estimated concentration of ostarine in the urine samples was consistent with ingestion prior to August 29, 2019, the date O’Malley received notification of his second violation.

“In addition, the pattern of low urinary ostarine concentrations observed in multiple samples provided by O’Malley was consistent with exposure to ostarine as a contaminant.”

O’Malley has been dealing with drug testing issues since 2018, when he was initially pulled from a fight at UFC 229 due to a potential doping violation. He then faced a six-month suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission following his positive test for ostarine.

He then booked his next fight in July 2019, but once again he was forced out of the contest after another drug test was flagged.

According to USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency), O’Malley submitted to extensive testing, continued to monitor his supplements, kept food logs and eventually he was cleared of intentionally ingesting any performance enhancing substances.

O’Malley’s suspension is retroactive to Aug. 6, 2019, the date his positive sample was collected. That means he’ll be eligible to return after Feb. 6.

Initially, O’Malley was booked for UFC 247 on Feb. 8 in Houston but based on the dates of his suspension, it appears he was pushed back to UFC 248 in March instead just to be safe. Now he can finally resume his UFC career in March, which will mark almost exactly two years since his last appearance.