Do the guys at Team Alpha Male have the right to trash former teammate T.J. Dillashaw for testing positive for a banned substance (EPO)?
Earlier this year former two-time UFC Bantamweight Champion T.J. Dillashaw was proven to and admitted as much to have taken the banned substance erythropoietin (EPO) due to feeling lethargic ahead of his bout at UFC on ESPN 1. He owned it, said he doesn’t regret it, and felt it was the only way for him to make weight for his January 19th tilt with Henry Cejudo and maintain being himself mentally. No justification her from me, just explaining his reasoning.
The natural reaction when one finds that any athlete has been cheating by using performance-enhancing drugs is to judge them in a negative fashion, and deservedly so. However, should those close to the disgraced athlete that allegedly knew all along that this athlete was cheating be as judgemental as those that didn’t know until the athlete tested positive?
Cody Garbrandt and UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber, plus other former teammates have been talking about Dillashaw being on the sauce since Dillashaw left Team Alpha Male, but never before the bad breakup!
A gym, a place where a team becomes a family while training to make one another better athletes. There are no secrets amongst those that are part of the team. Good, bad, or ugly if it happens in the gym, from my experience and discussions with fighters, everyone knows everything.
So did Faber, Garbrandt and other Team Alpha Male members know that Dillashaw was enhancing during his time at TAM? Based on statements from Garbrandt where he said that TJ was always doing stuff and that TJ taught the team how to dope, one would have to wonder if Garbrandt, Faber, and others in the gym were also doing things that they shouldn’t be doing. I mean, in Garbrandt’s own words, TJ taught the team how to. So that would imply that they all knew, were all possibly doing it, and turned a blind eye to it because at the time they were all in this together, and Dillashaw was the champion, which was great for the gym.
Faber while speaking to Ariel Helwani when he was still on MMA Fighting made a few statements in what seemed a defensive move, to act as if he has clean hands, and was ignorant to the antics going on in his gym!
“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.”
Nary a peep about PED’s from the team before he left. He leaves and the mud starts slinging, leaving one to wonder if it was sour grapes because Dillashaw left along with Duane Ludwig, who was the head coach at TAM, and the true architect of TJ’s first run at the title.
At the end of the day TJ did it, we all know that now. However, should we have known sooner from those that were there, and have been screaming it from the mountain top or any microphone stuck in their faces since Dillashaw and Ludwig departed Sacramento? Is this a case of a scorned relationship where quite possibly the team, who was all in on everything we now know about ratted on someone who left them behind when he became successful?
And could Dillashaw who has been dubbed a snake by the team end up being more loyal than those former teammates who ran the bus over him with what they knew, and yet Dillashaw, who allegedly taught the team how to dope, which means he would know names and what they were doing, yet he has not accused, implied or mentioned anyone’s name but his own as guilty.
I feel if these accusations and the knowledge by the team of what was going on when Dillashaw was at TAM were true back then, then nobody on that team should be chirping about it now because they didn’t back then which says to me they condoned it because they were all in it together.
I wasn’t there, you weren’t there so we will never know the truth about who did what at Team Alpha Male, with that being said I have always believed that those that shout the loudest, usually have the most to hide!
Christopher James has been in the MMA industry for 15 years, Working as a ring announcer for promotions like the XFC, Island Fights, Combat Night and Fight Nights Global during his career. Chris’ love for the sport and the athletes that partake in it led him to writing and doing face to face interviews with the athletes he admired and respected. Chris isn’t conventional by any stretch of the imagination, he has his own style, and takes pride in not being a “cookie-cutter” member of the media. Unique and sometimes controversial takes are what he brings to the table, forcing folks to think a little differently about the world of MMA. He also has a love for music as he has been a dj for 25 years and his love for music gets brought to the MMA world when he gets his guests to sing on his weekly show Cage Side with Christopher James which can be seen Wednesday nights on FACEBOOK LIVE, and soon via podcast.