Former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw has spoken out for the first time since he was handed a two years suspension from the sport by USADA after testing positive for EPO.
“I messed up,” Dillashaw stated in an Instagram video. “Been having a hard time trying to forgive myself for this, which I should have a hard time. And I should have a hard time forgiving myself. I understand criticism and scrutiny coming my way, but what I really feel bad about is the kind of bad light I’m bringing on my coaches, my family, my teammates…they had no involvement in this, and I feel the worst for them. I got a 15-month-old son that I…I want to be a role model for him. I’m sure there’s a lot of other kids out there too, it’s tough. But I gotta man up to what I did, you know, I accepted all penalties, I didn’t try to fight this thing.
I’m gonna sit for the next two years as of January 18, 2021 until I’m allowed to come back. On the road to comeback is, I got shoulder surgery yesterday, my right shoulder, two months later I’m getting my left one done. I’ve had torn rotator cuffs and labrums for the last two-and-a-half years I’ve been dealing with, but it’ll be nice to get those healed up for a comeback. I’ve had people just tell me I should disappear, and let this stuff die out — let this thing die out for the next two years and just disappear. But I don’t think that’s the way of handling this thing…at first, showing my son that we make a mistake, face it, face it to its face, you know, and don’t run from it. Trust me, I’d love to run away and go hide in a cave for the next two years and continue to grow out this s—-y beard. [laughter]
Yeah, man, it’s been weighing on me. And I say it should. This is who I am, I’m a fighter and I have to fight my way through this one. I want to apologize to — I’ve already apologized — but I apologize to my fans, anyone I’ve let down, obviously my family, my coaches, my teammates. I can’t say sorry enough for stuff that you’re dealing with because of me. But this won’t be the end of me, I’ll be back, and I’m making a promise now that I’ll be back better, I’ll be back stronger. And I’ll prove that the hard work that I put in will allow me to come back…and not the bad decisions that I’ve made. And it’s all I can do. All I can do is to redeem myself is work hard, be better. I want to be better, and I will.”