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What T.J. Dillashaw drug test found still unclear after USADA, NYSAC statements

MMAJunkie logo MMAJunkie 3/20/2019 Steven Marrocco
T.J. Dillashaw in a blue shirt: USA TODAY USA TODAY

Both the New York State Athletic Commission and U.S. Anti-Doping Agency have confirmed that T.J. Dillashaw failed a drug test.

Just what that he tested positive for, though remains a mystery. Dual statements from the regulators revealed little information about the substance that caused an adverse finding for Dillashaw (16-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC), who this morning announced the unfortunate news and his decision to relinquish the UFC bantamweight title.

According to USADA, the in-competition test window starts noon the day prior to a fight and ends after post-bout samples are collected.

The agency's stance on Dillashaw reflects new rules on the reporting of potential violations in the UFC's anti-doping program. This past September, the promotion said it would no longer announce potential violations before the conclusion of a particular case. UFC executives believed the delay would guard against fighters unfairly being branded cheaters.

Earlier today, NYSAC officials confirmed Dillashaw has been suspended one year - retroactive to his Jan. 19 title fight against flyweight champ Henry Cejudo (13-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) - and fined $10,000 for "violations relating to use of a prohibited substance," the commission said in a statement, declining further comment.

The UFC has yet to weigh in on Dillashaw's move to vacate the belt. The now ex-champion had pushed hard for a rematch with Cejudo after a first-round TKO stoppage he felt was premature. Cejudo, meanwhile, had lobbied to put the bantamweight belt on the line in the rematch.

Contenders such as Marlon Moraes, Pedro Munhoz and Aljamain Sterling sat in limbo with no direction announced by the promotion.

Dillashaw's conquest for Cejudo's flyweight title was documented extensively. Although many MMA observers expressed concern over his physical appearance during his training camp, he made weight through a rigorous diet and exercise program.

News of the adverse finding marks the first time Dillashaw has been accused of cheating after repeated accusations by his ex-teammate and two-time opponent, former champ Cody Garbrandt.

For complete coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 1, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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