Former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw has been suspended two years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after testing positive for recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO).
The test, taken prior to his January 19 fight with flyweight champion Henry Cejudo, did not produce results until after the fight had already taken place. News of the positive test surfaced last month and he did relinquish his title without question. He was tentatively suspended one-year as the investigation unfolded.
“We all know the pressures to win at all levels of all sport are real and intense,” said USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart in a released statement. “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.”
Cejudo defeated Dillashaw just 32-seconds into the fight at the Barclays Center.
Gleison Tibau was suspended for two years for EPO, making Dillshaw the second UFC fighter to received such an infraction.
EPO is a peptide hormone used to stimulate red blood cell production and is typically administered via intravenous injection. Dillashaw’s camp has not yet responded today’s news.
The New York State Athletic Commission also issued Dillashaw its own one-year suspension for the failed drug test but it will not run separate of USADA’s punishment. The date of his suspension is retroactive to fight night so he will be eligible to compete once again in January 2021.