USADA Suspended Former UFC Champion TJ Dillashaw For two years Following Positive Test For EPO
Last month TJ Dillashaw took to social media and revealed that he’s relinquishing his UFC bantamweight title following a notification from USADA that he’s failed an out of a competition drug test in the wake of his loss to Henry Cejudo at UFC on ESPN+ 1 in Brooklyn, New York.
On Tuesday afternoon ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported that the banned substance that found in Dillashaw’s system is recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO) and as a result, USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) has handed TJ two years of suspension. The suspension is retroactive to January 18, 2019, meaning former champ can return to Octagon the same day in 2021. Following this news, Dillashaw didn’t contest the verdict.
“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 released statement. “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.”
Jeff Novitzky, a UFC vice president of athlete health and performance also weighs-in on the Dillashaw’s situation stating EPO use is one of the worst misdemeanors in regards to anti-doping.
“I’m quite familiar with EPO from my days investigating professional cycling teams,” Jeff Novitzky told ESPN. “It’s a very effective substance. It’s not a substance you find in contaminated supplements; it’s injectable only. You have to know what you’re doing when it enters your system.
“On a scale of seriousness in anti-doping, it’s up near the top.”
An interesting thing to note here as Cody Garbrandt accused TJ Dillashaw of using this banned substance particularly around one year back.
Cody Garbrandt posted this on Twitter in April of 2018, specifically accusing Dillashaw of using EPO. pic.twitter.com/fiBXf3Z45z
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) April 9, 2019
That’s not the first time Cody accused Dillashaw for steroid use. At the pre-fight post conference ahead of their first showdown, Garbrandt said TJ Dillashaw taught everyone at Team Alpha Male fighters how to use performance-enhancing drugs.