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USADA suspends T.J. Dillashaw 2 years for failed drug test

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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.

“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.

Dillashaw has not yet publicly commented since USADA’s announcement.


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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