UFC Champion T.J. Dillashaw has accepted a two-year suspension from the United States Anti-Doping Agency after failing a test for a prohibited substance, the organization announced Tuesday.
This news comes two weeks after Dillashaw himself declared that the USADA had discovered an “adverse finding” and that he would be vacating the UFC bantamweight championship.
ESPN was first to report the suspension.
Per the release, Dillashaw tested positive for recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO), a result that was derived from a urine sample taken on Jan. 18, 2019, a day prior to his failed bid to drop down a weight class and take the 125-pound title from Henry Cejudo at UFC Brooklyn.
rHuEPO is described in the release as “a synthetic hormone used to stimulate the body’s production of red blood cells, thereby increasing oxygen transport and aerobic power.” It is a prohibited substances under the UFC Anti-Doping policy.
Dillashaw’s sanction began on the date that the sample was collected, meaning the 33-year-old will be eligible to fight again on Jan. 18, 2021.
“We all know the pressures to win at all levels of all sport are real and intense,” USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart said in Tuesday’s release. “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.”