Friday, June 25, 2021

Jeff Novitzky Says T.J. Dillashaw Was Tested For EPO After Both Bouts With Cody Garbrandt

Cody Gabrandt has accused T.J. Dillashaw of EPO use in the past, but apparently Dillashaw was tested for the glycoprotein cytokine after both his bouts with “No Love.”

Dillashaw vacated his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight gold after being hit with a one-year suspension from the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC). The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) dropped a bombshell with the announcement of Dillashaw’s two-year suspension due to EPO use.

Jeff Novitzky On T.J. Dillashaw’s EPO Use

Reporter Aaron Bronsteter reached out to UFC’s vice president of athlete health & performance, Jeff Novitzky. Novitzky said that Dillashaw was tested for EPO after both his bouts with Garbrandt:

“I just spoke with [Jeff Novitzky], who informed me that previous samples from TJ Dillashaw that were taken before and after his matchups with Cody Garbrandt did specifically test for EPO and all results were negative.”

Novitzky went on to say older samples still stored will undergo re-testing:

“Novitzky informs me that USADA will be re-testing any samples of Dillashaw that they still have stored and should they test positive for EPO, it would be considered another violation. His understanding is Dillashaw was tested for EPO for both his Lineker and Assuncao bouts.”

This does not exonerate Dillashaw for those outings, however. WADA has noted the difficulty in detecting EPO due to its short lifespan in someone’s system:

“Although rEPO has been banned by the medical commission of the International Olympic Committee, the anti-doping tests currently used cannot detect it with confidence because of the short half-life of rEPO in plasma (4 and 13 hours), while its biological effects occur several days after treatments.”

Dillashaw recently apologized for his drug test failure. The former UFC bantamweight king will sit out until after Jan. 18, 2021. The eligibility date is just a few weeks shy of his 35th birthday.