In the wake of TJ Dillashaw’s two year USADA suspension for testing positive for Erythropoietin (also known as EPO), neither UFC fighters nor top brass have much of anything favorable to say about the former Bantamweight champion.
UFC VP of athletic health and performance Jeff Novitzy had this to say:
“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. “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.”
Former UFC Welterweight champion Matt Serra did not hold back when addressing Dillashaw’s dilemma on the UFC Unfiltered podcast earlier this week, insinuating that PED usage in combat sports is akin to committing a crime. Serra said:
“He cheated… and you’re hitting somebody’s face harder. You’re rattling around someone’s brains. It’s like assault. It’s not fair to make yourself more powerful, or that you do not get tired, and the other guy is getting tired… So this guy is recovering faster to do you bodily [harm]. It’s fucking bullshit man.”
Serra then went on to opine that Dillashaw’s actions have had a potentially disastrous effect on the careers of other UFC fighters that he’s faced while using PEDs, particularly that of Cody Garbarandt.
Garbrandt was 11-0 and coming off of a monumental performance against Dominic Cruz when he first met Dillashaw in the Octagon at UFC 217 in November of 2017. Dillashaw won that fight, and since then Garbrandt’s career has taken a despondent turn. He lost the rematch with Dillashaw, and after an undefeated start, Garbrandt currently sits on a three fight losing streak.
But, to what effect might the recent developments in Dillashaw’s PED abuse have had on the course of Garbrandt’s once illustrious career? Serra remarked:
“Cody Garbrandt, who knows what that takes off the rest of his career. How about that TJ? What does it take out of this kid’s career, that he gets stopped twice, by a fucking cheater? Who knows, he might not have as long as a career. He might not have as many options to make the money that he would have made. That sounds dramatic, but that’s the fucking truth of it. So, fuck you man, TJ.”
Even though Dillashaw will be eligible to return to action early in 2021, Serra has a different idea about what he thinks the punishment should be:
“When a guy gets pinched like this, I’m up for a lifelong ban, and a big fuck you and a fine.”
What do you think? Was two years too short a penalty, or should Dillashaw have received a lifetime ban? Should combat sport athletes face criminal charges for PED usage? Comment below with your thoughts, and as always, don’t forget to like our Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter!