TJ Dillashaw has been suspended for two years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after testing positive for EPO in an in-competition drug test.
Whether it’s coincidental or not, it’s worth noting that former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt accused Dillashaw of using this banned substance specifically almost one year ago.
“I’m talking about the March fight and then you said you were hurt, must be all that EPO going to your head,” Garbrandt wrote in a April 2018 Tweet to TJ Dillashaw. “Have a safe camp see you in aug!”
This is not the first time Cody Garbrandt accused TJ Dillashaw of performance-enhancing drug use, either. Speaking at a press conference ahead of their first fight, he also suggested that Dillashaw previously taught other Team Alpha Male fighters how to use banned substances.
Most recently, former Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson hypothesized that TJ Dillashaw’s positive test must have stemmed from blooding doping or EPO due to how quickly he surrendered his title.
Check out Thomson’s comments at the 5:50 mark of the “Sammy and The Punk” podcast below.
EPO, for those unfamiliar, is an “injectable only” substance, which means it is very difficult to take accidentally.
Speaking to ESPN, UFC Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky explained why testing positive for EPO is so damning.
“I’m quite familiar with EPO from my days investigating professional cycling teams,” he said of EPO. “It’s a very effective substance. It’s not a substance you find in contaminated supplements, it’s injectable only. You have to know what you’re doing when it enters your system.
“On a scale of seriousness in anti-doping, it’s up near the top.”
What do you make of this year-old comment from Cody Garbrandt? Do you think he knew something about TJ Dillashaw or is this merely coincidence?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 4/9/2019.