Sean O’Malley Announces Another Drug Test Failure, Off UFC 239

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

Suga Show sidelined as performance enhancing substance again detected in UFC fighter Sean O’Malley’s system.

The ‘Suga Show’ has been pulled over to the side of the drug testing turnpike. At least for the time being, Sean O’Malley (10-0) has  been sidelined, pulled from UFC 239 following another positive drug test. A pair of them, more accurately. The bantamweight, who last competed in March of 2018, announced on social media Friday that Ostarine, a banned performance enhancing substance that he had previously tested positive for, had once again been found in his system.

However, in this case, per O’Malley’s statement, the trace amounts detected are not believed to be evidence of new usage. Instead, it appears leftover from the original consumption of the substance. As a result, USADA is not sanctioning the fighter, as he already served a suspension stemming from the original incident.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission is, however, issuing a temporary suspension while they look into the matter further. That means O’Malley won’t be able to appear at UFC 239, unless the case is somehow expedited, and the results favorable to the 24-year old fighter. O’Malley was also suspended six months by the NSAC following his previous positive test.

O’Malley burst into the public eye following an appearance on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series (now known simply as Dana White’s Contender Series). He went 2-0 in the UFC, but has dealt with both injuries and drug testing issues that have kept him out of action for over a year.

O’Malley’s full statement regarding the most recent doping incident is transcribed below.

I want to share the facts with you about the my [sic] latest USADA tests and how it affects my fight next month.

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. 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. While 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.


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