TJ Dillashaw discusses his EPO use on Chael Sonnen’s You’re Welcome

TJ Dillashaw appeared on Chael Sonnen’s, “You’re Welcome” podcast, this past Friday. Sonnen noticed Dillashaw at the press conference for Bellator 222 and text him about appearing on the show. The former UFC bantamweight champion was there because he will be cornering Juan Archuleta during his bout against Eduardo Dantas.

Dillashaw’s appearance was quickly the topic of discussion. He has not put himself in the public eye since apologising his actions which led to his suspension from USADA.

Sonnen and Dillashaw discussed a variety of things including upcoming fights in the UFC and confirming T.J’s intention to return in January 2021 when his suspension is over. Towards the end Chael asks Dillashaw if he has anything he want to get off his chest and T.J decided to talk about his EPO use.

“It’s been the darkest time of my life as well as the the best,” Dillashaw told Sonnen. “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. It’s been tough for me to be downstairs with Juan and show my face. It’s been a tough go.”

“Yeah of course [it was difficult to show up to the Bellator 222 press conference]. I mean, I’ve hidden out. I haven’t done any interviews, I haven’t done…I’ve just kind of hidden away from it. There have been things I’ve wanted to say, but I didn’t because it didn’t want to create excuses.”

To his credit, Dillashaw has not made any excuses USADA announced the abnormality in his sample. He was co-operative once he was caught and owned up to his mistakes.

“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,”

“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.”

The reason given by Dillashaw for using the EPO was because of his hematocrit levels declining. He maintains that his use of Procrit was necessary to make the weight and restore his hematocrit levels. T.J claims that his hematocrit never went to an unnatural level.

“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.”

“It’s a rough one, man,” Dillashaw said. “It’s hard not to hate yourself a little a bit.”

He has also maintained that this was a one off and that he hasn’t used performance enhancing drugs in the past.

“I understand people that are going to ridicule me for thinking that I did it in the past… I deserve that for taking this on”

Chael Sonnen gave his support to Dillashaw and commended his courage for opening up. He also gave him credit for how he has accepted responsibility or his actions.

Chael Sonnen was himself banned for EPO use in 2014.

Do you believe that the use of a banned substance was a one off? Or has the legacy of T.J Dillashaw been tarnished for good? Let us know in the comments below!

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