This afternoon, news broke that TJ Dillashaw has been suspended for two years for his use of recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO), an “injectable only” drug.
“I’m quite familiar with EPO from my days investigating professional cycling teams,” UFC Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky told ESPN of EPO and how it is used. “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.”
Unsurprisingly, it did not take long for other MMA notables to react to this troubling news. The most notable reaction came from TJ Dillashaw arch nemesis Cody Garbrandt. The pair used to train together at Team Alpha Male, but later entered into one of the most heated rivalries in recent MMA history.
Speaking in a statement released to ESPN, USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart explained why TJ Dillashaw received such a lengthy suspension for his use of EPO.
“We all know the pressures to win at all levels of all sport are real and intense,” he said. “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.”
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 4/9/2019.