Sean O’Malley Announces He’s Off UFC 229 Due to USADA Violation

Sean O'Malley
Sean O'Malley Credit: Mike Fridley/

Sean O’Malley is out of his UFC 229 bout with José Quiñónez after failing an out-of-competition drug test under USADA.

Just days after the UFC changed its anti-doping policy to stop announcing when fighters test positive under USADA’s UFC Anti-Doping Program (at least until the adjudication process plays out), one of its fighters has gone ahead and announced a positive test anyway. Sean O’Malley, who was set to appear at next weekend’s UFC 229 in Las Vegas, posted a message on Instagram stating a potential tainted supplement has forced his withdrawal from the card.

O’Malley skyrocketed to UFC stardom after appearing on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. He’s been perfect in his two UFC appearances since, and is 10-0 overall as a professional. The 23-year old shared Fight of the Night honors with Andre Soukhamthath in his last outing at UFC 222.

Calling his positive test a “speed bump on the way to greatness,” O’Malley said that “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 the remaining samples from the bottle I took to the USADA lab as well as a full sealed bottle. I’m told that the testing of these supplements can take as long as 30 days.”

Apologizing for his late withdrawal O’Malley added that “I have no intention of cheating and am fully conident that the results of this case will show that.” You can read O’Malley’s full statement above. If O’Malley is found victim of a tainted supplement, it should greatly reduce any possible suspension, however he could still be looking at six months or so out of action.