Former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw has been issued a two years suspension from USADA after failing a drug test prior to UFC Fight Night 143 in January.
Dillashaw tested positive for EPO, a hormone that promotes red blood cell production, the day before his unsuccessful attempt to win the flyweight title against Henry Cejudo and again post-fight.
Upon first learning of his failed test recently, Dillashaw immediately announced that he would be relinquishing his bantamweight title, and he is not contesting this week’s ruling, meaning that the 33-year-old won’t be eligible to compete again until January 18th, 2021.
“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 statement announcing Dillashaw’s suspension. “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.”
Prior to his fight with Cejudo, which he lost by TKO in just 32 seconds, Dillashaw was in the midst of an 8-1 run, defeating the likes of Renan Barao twice, Raphael Assuncao, John Lineker and his biggest rival Cody Garbrandt twice too.
However, yesterday’s EPO suspension has undoubtedly tarnished Dillashaw’s previously squeeky-clean reputation.