T.J. Dillashaw Suspended For Two Years By USADA For Positive Test

Former UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw was flagged for a potential violation stemming from in-competition tests after his flyweight title fight against Henry Cejudo back in January. Following the revelation, T.J. Dillashaw relinquished the bantamweight title, with Henry Cejudo set to face Marlon Moraes in the main event of UFC 238 for the vacant bantamweight title.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency announced on Tuesday that the former champion was intimated of — and has accepted — a two-year suspension retroactive to January 18th this year, which will put him out of action until January 18th, 2021. USADA provided the following statement.

“Dillashaw, 33, tested positive for recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) as the result of an in-competition urine sample he provided on January 18, 2019. rHuEPO is a synthetic hormone used to stimulate the body’s production of red blood cells, thereby increasing oxygen transport and aerobic power, and is a prohibited substance.”

EPO is usually taken by athletes to improve their conditioning and endurance, and Dillashaw was previously suspended for a year by the New York State Athletic Commission, and was fined $10,000 for testing positive for the banned substance.

“We all know the pressures to win at all levels of all sport are real and intense”, USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart said following the announcement. “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.”

Update: ESPN’s Brett Okamoto has now revealed that USADA went back and tested T.J. Dillashaw’s sample taken in December for EPO, which has come back positive!

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