On March 20, TJ Dillashaw relinquished his bantamweight title after failing a post-fight drug test following his January 19 loss to Henry Cejudo. On April 9, Dillashaw received a two-year suspension by USADA for testing positive to recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO) prior to the bout with Cejudo.
On Friday, UFC president Dana White weighed in on Dillashaw’s suspension, saying, “A two-year suspension is devastating to a career.”
Dillashaw released a statement via Instagram on Friday taking responsibility for the positive test result. He stated that the decision to use EPO was his alone. Following the UFC 236 weigh-ins, White said there’s probably no bigger performance enhancing substance than EPO.
“There’s all kinds of minor things that guys get busted for, for not checking in and telling USADA they’re using it. When you get busted for real performance enhancing drugs, and there probably isn’t a bigger performance enhancing drug than EPO,” he said.
Dillashaw was expected to rematch Cejudo for the bantamweight title in his next outing. He’ll be 35 years old the next time he’s eligible to compete inside the octagon again.
Though Dillashaw has been considered one of the greatest bantamweights of all time, every achievement he’s had to this point will now come under scrutiny, particularly since USADA has not tested every sample collected for EPO. Not only does Dillashaw face a long road back to the Octagon, he faces a mountain of scrutiny that will be difficult to overcome.