Former two-time UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw has been suspended for two years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency after testing positive for recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO), the USADATuesday.
The ban – which Dillashaw didn’t contest – is retroactive to Jan. 18, 2019, the day before the American’s unsuccessful flyweight title fight against Henry Cejudo in New York.
“We all know the pressures to win at all levels of all sport are real and intense,” USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart said in a 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.”
Recombinant human EPO is a synthetic hormone used to stimulate the production of red blood cells.
Dillashaw received the maximum punishment for a first-time offender under the UFC’s anti-doping program.
In March, Dillashaw relinquished his 135-pound belt after announcing an “adverse finding” had been detected in his last drug test. The UFC veteran will be eligible to return a month before he turns 35 years old.
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