Sean “Sugar” O’Malley Claims Tainted Supplements Caused UFC Suspension
By Candice Hall
UFC bantamweight fighter, Sean “Sugar” O’Malley, has been suspended until March 6, 2019 for a positive drug test that he claims was the result of tainted caffeine pills. As one of the fighters with the most media buzz, Sean O’Malley earned his UFC contract on Dana White’s Contender Series (DWTNCS) through his flashy kickboxing.
The undefeated O’Malley has had three fights for the UFC and recently moved to the well-known MMA Lab supergym in Glendale, Arizona. In September, he tested positive for the drug ostarine – a performance enhancing drug designed to build muscle – and his fight with fellow bantamweight Jose Alberto Quinoñes was cancelled.
O’Malley first broke the news of the scrapped fight on October 1 to ESPN on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.
“I guess that’s the one that catches everyone.” O’Malley told Helwani, referring to the banned substance, ostarine.
“I’m getting punished for something I didn’t do.”
The retroactive suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) was announced a month later on November 13. Despite NSAC existing as a state level entity, it is the regulatory practice for all state and international boxing commissions to respect the decisions of other states. O’Malley’s suspension is currently active across all agencies for any MMA fights.
“Sugar Show”, as he is called by fans, himself appears unfazed and even tweeted, on the day his suspension was announced, that he was flying to Dubai.
Sean O’Malley @SugaSeanMMA Nov 13
16 hour flight to Dubai , if I could hook up my Xbox and play fortnite the entire time that would be so amazing.
Business and promotion ventures still do not seem farfetched for O’Malley, despite his recent NSAC problems, as his popularity grows and his business opportunities increase.
Wooing the likes of DWTNCS’s commentators, Urijah Faber and guest commentator, legendary pot enthusiast Snoop Dogg, after his highlight reel knockout in June 2017, Sean O’Malley remains on the track to stardom.
Earlier in 2018, O’Malley debuted his own strain of legal marijuana in California named “Sugar Show OG” in association with a company called Atrium.
O’Malley, only 24 years of age, is the prime age for a fan base that finds marijuana use as a recreational activity both morally acceptable and enjoyable. His flashy fighting style and unique personality has earned him accolades across the mainstream MMA media.
O’Malley himself does not think this incident will affect his career.
“I need to ask maybe Jeff Novitzky [Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance at the UFC] what the exact numbers were,” he continued on Helwani’s MMA Show, regarding his positive drug test.
O’Malley claims the results for ostarine were only trace amounts, which is indicative of a tainted supplement rather than intentional drug abuse.
Earlier in 2018, former UFC Heavyweight, Josh Barnett, won his arbitration case with USADA – the UFC’s private drug testing partner – after testing positive for the same drug as O’Malley. Barnett avoided suspension entirely by USADA after providing evidence that his supplements were tainted with ostarine.
An investigation by USADA on O’Malley is still pending. Results and a separate possible suspension by USADA will be announced when the investigation is complete.