The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced yesterday the suspension of former UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw for a Jan. 18 failed drug test.
Specifically, Dillashaw, 33, in an in-competition drug test for his UFC on ESPN+ 1 bout against flyweight champion Henry Cejudo, tested positive for recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO). The suspension is retroactive to the date of the test, Jan. 18, 2019, which means he will be eligible or competition after Jan. 18, 2021.
According to USADA, rHuEPO is a “synthetic hormone used to stimulate the body’s production of red blood cells, thereby increasing oxygen transport and aerobic power, and is a prohibited substance in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances, and Mimetics under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.”
Dillashaw voluntarily surrendered the belt when USADA presented its preliminary “adverse finding” approximately three weeks ago.
Cejudo and Marlon Moraes will meet for the vacant 135-pound belt at UFC 238 in June.
Another note in Dillashaw's EPO case, USADA went back and re-analyzed a test submitted on Dec. 28, and that also come back positive for EPO. The reason it went undetected initially, is that a special test is required to reveal EPO, and that test is not run on every single sample.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) April 9, 2019
Statement from TJ Dillashaw’s nutritionist/strength and conditioning coach Sam Calavitta. pic.twitter.com/2usauhm7ru
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) April 10, 2019
“We all know the pressures to win at all levels of all sport are real and intense,” USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart said in a press release. “It is exactly why strong anti-doping efforts are necessary to protect clean athletes’ rights, health, and safety, and to ensure that those who do succumb to these pressures and decide to break the rules will be held accountable in a real and meaningful way, as in this case.”
It didn’t take long for social media to comment on the findings.
That cheat does not deserve to share an octagon with you or any REAL champion.
— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) April 10, 2019
Shame to hear @TJDillashaw has been banned for using PEDs, I was a big fan off his but I can’t respect anyone trying to gain an unfair advantage in the fight game when someone can be killed, SMH
— Anthony Fowler 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (@afowler06) April 10, 2019
I listened to TJ Dillashaw on Joe Rogan's podcast for like 3 hours extol the virtues of some mad body-scientist he had employed to make sure he was running at 110% the whole time and wow at the results.
Turns out he was just on EPO the whole way? Lol
— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) April 9, 2019
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) April 9, 2019
TJ Dillashaw went from being on the verge of becoming a double champ, rated as one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world, making a case as one of the all time greats to literally ruining his legacy from which I see no return. From the penthouse to the outhouse.
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) April 9, 2019
Re-test and for ALL the fights that he pops, ALL of the money needs to be taken back!! Thats the only thing that will make people stop.if u rob a bank and get caught, u get jail sentence(ban) and u must return all the money stolen.
— Artem Lobov (@RusHammerMMA) April 10, 2019
Dillashaw has not yet publicly commented since USADA’s announcement.