THURSDAY NEWS DIGEST 3/21: USADA, NYSAC, Conor McGregor release statements on TJ Dillashaw drug test failure, more

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Statements on Dillashaw

Wednesday’s bombshell that TJ Dillashaw failed a drug test tied to his failed flyweight title attempt in Brooklyn earlier this year left many in shock and with more questions than answered. One question was, since the failure was reported by the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC), did USADA also have a failure on their record? The answer to that is ‘yes’ as USADA issued their first statement on Dillashaw’s case since the news came out.

“In light of Mr. Dillashaw’s social media post this morning, we can confirm that an in-competition test conducted by USADA on January 18, 2019 resulted in an adverse analytical finding,” the statement read. “In this instance, we are able to confirm the finding due to Mr. Dillashaw’s public statement. The presumption of innocence under the rules is a vital part of an effective anti-doping program and it’s only fair that Mr. Dillashaw be allowed due process before any conclusions are drawn.”

So now that it’s clear USADA knew of the failure, it is safe to assume that Dillashaw likely knew of the failure for some time as well. His decision to relinquish his UFC bantamweight title was probably not made in haste with the benefit of this knowledge. The announcement of the failure through the media, first reported by ESPN, via the NYSAC, simply forced Dillashaw’s hand. The New York commission suspended Dillashaw for one year with a $10,000 fine.

The NYSAC has been relatively tight-lipped despite leaking the news saying that Dillashaw has been fined and suspended for “violations relating to use of a prohibited substance.”

Finally, it wouldn’t be a big UFC story if we didn’t get Conor McGregor’s take on things. In an early morning Thursday tweet, McGregor said “I called that little snake way back. I’m the new St. Patrick.”

When McGregor coached “The Ultimate Fighter” opposite Urijah Faber in the fall 2015 season, McGregor tried to get under Faber’s skin by warning him of the “snake in the grass” Dillashaw who had publicly left Faber’s Team Alpha Male amidst disputes over head coach Duane Ludwig.

McGregor isn’t the first to say “I told you so” regarding Dillashaw, but he’s certainly the loudest.

Thursday Notebook

-Holly Holm has signed a new six-fight deal with UFC according to MMAFighting.

-Rafael dos Anjos vs. Kevin Lee at welterweight will headline UFC Rochester on May 18.

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