TJ Dillashaw was on the receiving end of several PED accusations over the years from his former teammates-turned-rivals Urijah Faber and Cody Garbrandt.
Jump back to the year 2016.
The seemingly unbeatable TJ had just been dethroned after one of the year’s best fights – a razor thin loss at the hands of Dominick Cruz.
Of course, the world of MMA was still in the middle of digesting the feud that was bubbling between the former champion and his old HQ, Team Alpha Male, after one of the messier break-ups we’ve seen between an athlete and gym in recent years.
TAM head-coach Urijah Faber was himself gearing up to take on their shared rival Cruz in a trilogy bout for the bantamweight world title at UFC 199 and in an interview post-fight, made an interesting remark about his former pupil.
Asked about a matchup between himself and his recently-departed star student, Faber took a thinly-veiled dig at the Bang Muay Thai convert.
“I fought TJ Dillashaw for 8 years, every day. Dude I’ll smoke TJ Dillashaw.
“He looks like a prepubescent little teenager right now because USADA came in. You look like a chubby.”
When pushed for an answer by Cruz, Faber retracted his statement slightly, saying “I don’t know if he was or not” before later claiming “it’s very obvious.” (via BJPenn)
In 2017, just prior to the blockbuster Madison Square Garden event UFC 217, then-champion Cody Garbrandt accused TJ of being on ‘everything’ and the guy ‘who showed everyone how to do it on Team Alpha Male’.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) November 3, 2017
Speaking to Ariel Helwani during his original hosting spot on The MMA Hour, Team Alpha Male head-coach Urijah Faber later had the following to say on the accusations made by Cody towards his former teammate.
“As far Cody saying the steroid thing etc., these are conversations that, and I’ve heard conversations that have gone in between, you know, within the team, that I wasn’t a part of, so I can’t say my thing about it.
“If you guys want to know the details about what Cody is talking about, you’re going to have to get that from him because, you know, I was kinda the patriarch of the team, so if something shady is going on, no one would tell me about it.
“I’ve heard some things that have made me lose some respect, absolutely, but it’s not my place to say about conversations that were had or things that were said or things that were done when I wasn’t actually there in the know, you know.” (via FloCombat)
In a since-deleted tweet from last year ahead of their rematch at UFC 227, Cody went once step further, naming the exact substance that Dillashaw would test positive for a year later. (Courtesy of Aaron Bronsteter of TSN Sports)
Empty accusations and lucky guesses or well-informed tip-offs within a closely-knit gym of brothers?
Either way, one would hope that we learn more about this shocking development as time goes on.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena