Dillashaw Gets Two-Year Suspension From USADA

On Tuesday, USADA announced that former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw had accepted a two year suspension for testing positive for the performance enhancer, recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO) prior to his loss to flyweight champion Henry Cejudo.

“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 statement released on Tuesday. “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’s suspension is retroactive to the test date of January 18th, 2019 and will not see action until January 2021, suffering the maximum sanction for a nonspecified substance under the UFC’s anti-doping program.

Dillashaw is only the second fighter since the UFC partnered with USADA in 2015 to be suspended for the red blood cell stimulant, as lightweight Gleison Tibau (last seen fighting for Golden Boy MMA) was suspended for two years.

“I’m quite familiar with EPO from my days investigating professional cycling teams,” UFC vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky told ESPN. “It’s a very effective substance. It’s not a substance you find in contaminated supplements; it’s injectable only. You have to know what you’re doing when it enters your system.

“On a scale of seriousness in anti-doping, it’s up near the top.”

Dillashaw was also suspended for one year by the New York State Athletic Commission, the state where he fought and lost to Cejudo in the first round back in January of this year.

Initial Report: ESPN

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