T.J. Dillashaw had always been rueful about his PED use that ultimately took out two years from his fighting career. But in a recent interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the former bantamweight champion admitted that he would’ve found reasons to justify his actions.
"I would have made that excuse to myself. I feel like I would have been able to justify it, how f---ed up that is."@TJDillashaw candidly answered whether he would have been able to justify taking EPO, had he not been caught. (via @bokamotoESPN) pic.twitter.com/Yc9WqkSV3F— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) December 3, 2020
“I probably shouldn’t have just taken the fight, to be honest. Actually, I know I shouldn’t have taken the fight,” he said.
“I’m gonna be honest with you, just like I’ve been with everything. I would’ve done the same. I probably would’ve said, like, ‘I had to do it.’ Like, something my body wasn’t letting me do, like I wouldn’t be able to make the weight.
“I would’ve made that excuse to myself,” he added. “And I felt like I would’ve been able to justify it, how f—ked up that is. But let’s be honest.”
The 34-year-old Dillashaw will be eligible to compete in a little over a month’s time. He’s been off the juice since his previous failure, which he says has done him a lot better.
“To be honest, my body now is at a better level than it ever was when I was taking a performance enhancing drug,” he said. “I became completely anemic to where I brought my body to somewhat average. To where now, my body’s even performing better that it was on it.
“Yes, I did take something I wasn’t supposed to. And if I went and saw a doctor, he would’ve prescribed it to me, but it doesn’t give me the excuse to take it. I’m a professional athlete, I know I wasn’t allowed to take it.”
Dillashaw will likely be back at bantamweight after that unsuccessful attempt at 125 pounds. He expects to fight for the title upon his return.