TJ Dillashaw has officially been handed and accepted a two-year ban after USADA revealed that Dillashaw failed for EPO. The failure came from a urine test taken on Jan. 18, the day before Dillashaw’s 32-second loss to Henry Cejudo at UFC Brooklyn.
Dillashaw was handed a one-year suspension after an ‘adverse result’ was found by the New York State Athletic Commission but USADA has jurisdiction to hand out its own suspensions based on its own test results. After the initial New York failure was announced, Dillashaw surrendered his UFC bantamweight championship. Cejudo will be challenging Marlon Moraes for that vacant belt on June 8.
Dillashaw will be eligible to re-enter competition on Jan 18, 2021. He will be 35 years old.
EPO is commonly used by cyclists and long-distance runners. It is a hormone that naturally occurs in the body, but taking it artificially can result in increased endurance for athletes. Clinically, EPO is used for “kidney failure, chemotherapy, and other medical conditions involving red blood cell loss and anemia.”
“We all know the pressures to win at all levels of all sport are real and intense,” USADA CEO Travis 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.”
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto also reported that a previous sample from Dillashaw, dated Dec. 28, 2018, also tested positive for EPO. Okamoto says a special test needs to be performed on the samples and it isn’t used on every sample, which is why it wasn’t caught initially. While it’s possible that Dillashaw has an explanation for the EPO being in his system, the fact that USADA has released the information and that he has accepted the suspension could indicate that he is owning up to using EPO knowingly.
TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter also found an old tweet from Dillashaw’s former teammate Cody Garbrandt, that indicates his use of EPO goes back some time.
“Must be all that EPO going to your head!” the April 2018 tweet said.
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
If TJ Dillashaw is looking for increased endurance, he’s really going to need it as he must endure a full two years on the shelf.
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