Former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw was handed a two-year suspension for taking a banned substance by the USADA. Dillashaw has accepted the punishment which will keep him out of action until January 18, 2021 at the earliest.
Dillashaw tested positive for recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) from a sample taken the day before he lost to Henry Cejudo earlier this January. The drug is used as a synthetic hormone to simulate the production of red blood cells, increasing oxygen transport and aerobic power.
"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 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."
Dillashaw challenged Cejudo for his flyweight title in the first event on ESPN. His bantamweight belt was not on the line that evening, but he later vacated it after first receiving news of the failed drug test.
Cody Garbrandt, who has fought Dillashaw twice after being teammates with him under the Team Alpha Male banner, took to Twitter to voice his displeasure with Dillashaw. ESPN later reported that USADA also checked past test results from Dillashaw, with one ahead of the Garbrandt bout being positive.
"Test all his samples I bet for a fact more epo pops up," Garbrandt wrote. "TJ Dillashaw is a coward. TJ call me when that suspension is up! Scum bag."