After receiving a two-year suspension for his USADA violation, T.J. Dillashaw has finally gone into further detail about his recent drug test failure.
Appearing on Chael Sonnen’s You’re Welcome podcast, Dillashaw explained the situation, even expressing how he's felt since the news broke. “It’s been the darkest time of my life and it’s been the best,” he said. “Like I said, I have a 17-month old son and that’s been a great distraction for me. Thank goodness for him, you know, because it’s been tough for me, man."
Nonetheless, Dillashaw accepts that he cheated, pointing to the heightened weight cut as a main motivator for his decision. “First and foremost, I cheated. I don’t want to runaround that — that’s why I announced it even when USADA was coming out. I didn’t want to create any excuses, I was like, ‘Look, this was it.’ I did it, I want to be up front with you guys. I didn’t want to create any excuses about why I did it.
"I knew eventually I would talk about it and this is now, this is the first time I have,” he explained. “I was so into doing something that was never done before. Not the two champs, obviously I wanted that more than anything, I wanted to prove I was the best in the world, but it was also to drop down to that weight class. I’m a lean 135er.
"I wanted to drop the weight class to go to the 125’s, and I played it off on how easy it was going to be. ‘I can do this, no problem, I always cut weight.’ I pushed my body to the extreme. About six weeks out, my body started to crash it started to get tired. I started feeling like I didn’t wanna wake up for practice.”
In response to his hematocrit level being down, Dillashaw opted to take Procrit, a substance he knew was banned. “I want to be the most ultimate athlete I can and I started crashing. I tested my hematocrit and I was down in the 30’s, which I normally walk around with around 45. I was down in the 30’s, the high 30’s, but I was on the verge of being anemic,” he said.
“I decided to take something I wasn’t allowed to take. It was called Procrit, it’s an anemia medication that would not only help me make the weight, but would also allow me to be myself. I’m not mad I did it because I don’t think I could’ve taken the fight. I’m obviously going to own up that I cheated and I got caught.”
Dillashaw's suspension will keep him out of action until January 2021, leaving him just a month shy of 35 years old upon his return.