Former UFC Champ TJ Dillashaw Suspended 2 Years by USADA for Doping Violation

Former bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw has been suspended for two years by USADA after violating the UFC’s anti-doping policy.

T.J. Dillashaw
Image Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Former bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw has been suspended for two years by USADA after violating the UFC’s anti-doping policy.

USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) officials announced the news on Tuesday with Dillashaw now out of action until after Jan. 18, 2021.

“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,” USADA officials said in a statement.

Dillashaw did not contest the suspension and he will serve the full two year saction before being allowed to compete again.

EPO is a substance that has been banned since the 1990’s and it’s typically used to help conditioning and endurance in athletes.

Dillashaw had previously been suspended for one year by the New York State Athletic Commission and fined $10,000 as a result of the positive drug test.

USADA oversees and enforces the UFC’s anti-doping policy and they handed down the standard two-year sanction for a first offense for this type of 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. “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.”

Immediately after he was suspended by the state of New York, Dillashaw put out a public statement where he relinquished the UFC bantamweight title likely in anticipation that he would be stripped of the title after the sanctions were made public.

A new bantamweight champion will be crowned at UFC 238 when flyweight champion Henry Cejudo moves up to 135 pounds to face Marlon Moraes in the main event on June 8 in Chicago. Cejudo knocked out Dillashaw in just 32-seconds at that fight in January, which also resulted in the positive drug test and subsequent suspension.

Once hailed as arguably the best bantamweight of all time, Dillashaw will now put his career on hold for the next two years as he serves his suspension for the positive drug test.