10-0 UFC fighter Sean O’Malley won’t be making his highly anticipated return to the Octagon next month after all.
In an Instagram post, O’Malley (who just recently earned his purple belt in jiu-jitsu) shared the disappointing news that he’d been temporarily sanctioned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for trace amounts of the banned substance Ostarine that had been found in his system. This same substance had been what led to the fighter being suspended for six months by USADA last September, but according to O’Malley, he wouldn’t be re-sanctioned by USADA because the organization had determined that the positive test results were due to the drug “resurfacing” in extremely low levels from last year’s results.
The suspension will prevent him from fighting at UFC 239, where he was scheduled to go up against Marlon Vera.
O’Malley has maintained his claim of innocence since initially testing positive for the substance last year. In fact, his USADA-imposed suspension was relatively short because the organization had determined that the amount of Ostarine that had shown up in the test results was consistent with supplement contamination. In the caption accompanying his post, O’Malley once again asserted that he’d never intentionally taken a banned substance during his MMA career.
” Punished twice for doing nothing wrong. I have never taken anything illegal. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I will continue to train and get better everyday. ‘You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength’ -Marcus Aurelius”
Read O’Malley’s statement in full below:
“USADA has notified me that ostarine, the substance that showed up in my system last year and led to USADA sanctioning me, has resurfaced at an extremely low level in two recent tests,” O’Malley wrote. “The good news is that USADA says this is most likely residual from last year and that the low level is providing me with no performance advantage. That’s why USADA is not re-sanctioning me for these test results. I already served a USADA sanction for the presence of ostarine in my system, and it has decreased dramatically since last year.
“The bad news is that the Nevada State Athletic Commission has temporarily suspended me while they look into the situation. I feel terrible to let down my fans who were looking forward to watching me fight in Las Vegas next month, I look forward to publicly discussing my case before the Nevada State Athletic Commission with scientific experts who can explain why very low levels of ostarine are showing up in my system. I want to make one thing very clear: I have never purposely taken any prohibited substance to gain an advantage. I will subject myself to whatever additional testing is required of me by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. I want to get this situation finally cleared up so I can return to the Octagon as soon as I can.”