Rising UFC bantamweight contender Sean O’Malley has been handed a 6-month suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for failing a United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) drug test administered ahead of his cancelled UFC 229 fight, per MMAjunkie.
O’Malley received a reduced suspension on the basis of his cooperation with the commission, and because he accepted responsibility for his failed test. In addition to his suspension, he will reportedly have to pay $472.42 in costs and fees.
He will be eligible to compete again on March 6.
Leading into his planned UFC 229 fight, which was supposed to pit him against Jose Alberto Quinonez, O’Malley tested positive for the banned substance Ostarine.
Under new USADA policy, potential violations are no longer announced. Instead, failed drug tests are not announced until they are confirmed, which leaves it up to the fighter to announce any USADA-related tie-ups.
Choosing to be forthright and honest with his fans, Sean O’Malley announced his situation with USADA, maintaining that his failed test was due to his use of a tainted supplement.
“Hey guys, Sugar show here… I want to be the first to let you know about what’s been going on,” Sean O’Malley announced on Instagram back in late September. “As many of you may have seen, the UFC announced this weekend that they are no longer announcing potential violations of the USADA program, because of the high number of unintentional use cases under the program, and are instead waiting until the end.
“I find myself caught up in one of these exact cases right now. Even though under the new policy, my case would not be public right now, I feel it’s important to be up front and honest with my fans.
“I’ve been working with Jeff Novitzky at UFC and I believe that we have already identified a dietary supplement that would have caused this. We’ve sent remaining samples from the bottle I took to the USADA lab and as well as a full sealed bottle. I’m told the testing of these supplements can take as long as 30 days. I will continue to update you all the findings, but I fully expect the results what I already know. That I did nothing on purpose.
“For everyone that follows me and was excited for my fight I’m truly sorry. It hurts a lot not being able to get out there and do what I love on the biggest stage.
“I have no intention of cheating and am fully confident that the results of this case will show that. I love my fans and I hope the impact on my career is minimal and I’m back to fighting real soon.”
Having been suspended by the NSAC, Sean O’Malley will still have to settle with USADA, though the agency tends to hand out similar punishments to those dished out by the NSAC.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/14/2018.