April 9, 2019 / 7:59 PM / 6 months ago

Dillashaw suspended two years for positive test

FILE PHOTO: Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has suspended former UFC champion TJ Dillashaw for two years for a positive drug test, the agency announced Tuesday.

Three weeks ago, Dillashaw surrendered the UFC bantamweight belt, announcing he was informed by the New York State Athletic Commission and USADA of an “adverse finding in a test taken for my last fight.”

He tested positive for the banned substance recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO) before the flyweight title fight against Henry Cejudo on Jan. 19 in New York.

“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.”

The New York governing body already had suspended him for one year and issued a $10,000 fine, citing “violations relating to use of a prohibited substance.” That suspension will be served concurrently.

The 33-year-old had held the bantamweight title since November 2017, his second title reign, claiming the belt in a knockout of Cody Garbrandt at UFC 217.

In the January fight, Dillashaw was knocked out in the first round of the flyweight title fight by Cejudo. Dillashaw dropped down in weight in an attempt to capture a second belt.

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