After T.J. Dillashaw lost to Henry Cejudo, he was then flagged by USADA and suspended two years for EPO use.
Now, speaking to Chael Sonnen on his podcast Dillashaw explained why he took EPO, and why he is not mad about it.
“I’ve hidden out, I haven’t done any interviews, I haven’t done – I’ve just kind of hidden away from – there’s things I’ve been wanting to say, but I didn’t, because I don’t want to create any excuses,” Dillashaw said (h/t Lowkick MMA). “Let’s start off, first and foremost, I cheated. I don’t want to run around that, that’s why even I announced it when USADA was coming out. I didn’t want to create excuses.
“It was like, look, this is it, I did it, I want to be upfront with you guys. I didn’t want to create any excuses of why I did it, I knew eventually I would talk about it, and this is now, it’s the first time I have. I was so into doing something that has never been done before. Not the two champs. Obviously, I wanted that more than anything, I wanted to prove I’m the best in the world, but was also to drop that weight class. I’m a lean 135’er. I wanted to drop the weight class to go to the 125s, and I played it off to how easy it was going to be. “I can do this, no problem, I always cut weight.”
“And I pushed my body to the extreme. About six weeks out, my body started to crash, I started to get tired, I started feeling I didn’t want to wake up for practice. I test everything. I test my hair for toxins, I test my saliva for hormone levels – I want to be the most optimized athlete I possibly can. And I started crashing.”
Dillashaw says without it, he wouldn’t have been able to make weight or take the fight. So for him, he isn’t mad about it but says it hard not to hate yourself.
“I decided to take something I knew I wasn’t allowed to take,” Dillashaw admitted. “It’s called Procrit, it’s an anemia medication that would help me, not only make the weight, but be myself. And, you know, I’m not mad I did it, because I don’t think I could’ve taken the fight. I’m obviously going to own up that I cheated, I got caught – it’s a rough one man. It’s hard not to hate yourself a little bit. To – I don’t know. It’s a tough one.”
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime