Jon Jones May Walk Free Without Suspension From USADA

Jon “Bones” Jones might go down in the history of mixed martial arts as one of the biggest “could-have-been” fighters ever. The embattled former UFC light heavyweight champion has stepped from controversy to controversy across his storied combat sports career, courting trouble nearly every time he has made his way toward the octagon.

Jones was arrested for a DUI back in 2012, in New York following a car crash.

In 2015 he tested positive for a metabolite found in cocaine. He spent one night in rehabilitation over the incident.

He would later be involved in another car accident, this time with a pregnant woman, and would run from the scene without checking on her. Jones was stripped of his title following the incident for violating the UFC’s Athlete Code of Conduct policy.

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Jones’ eventual return to the UFC would involve a rematch with Daniel Cormier. The Nevada State Athletic Commission would issue news just hours before the bout that Jones had failed his pre-fight drug test for two banned substances, described as being hormonal and metabolic modulators. Jones blamed a contaminated Cialis pill for the issue and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) would suspend him for a year regardless.

The native New Yorker had looked to have his life back on track following his year suspension, defeating his rival Daniel Cormier in July of 2017. This would all come crashing down when it was found that Jones had tested positive for Turinabol, an anabolic steroid. Jones would request that his “B” sample be analysed, with the sample also coming back as positive.

The suspension for this violation could be as long as four years, but UFC Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance, Jeff Novitzky, says that Jones may only have to prove that once again he had taken a tainted supplement.

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“Basically he was just coming off a one-year suspension. The previous suspension went to arbitration. So you had three different independent arbitrators looking at it. All of them ruled that he did not purposely use anything to enhance his performance. But, they also ruled that he operated with careless and reckless disregard for what he took and ended up getting contaminated,” said Novitzky.

“So there was really no reduction in sanction and so he got a one year sanction from that previous one. Now unfortunately on this one, because of that previous sanction, he’s now looking at a second sanction which would basically double your penalty. The substance that he tested positive for was a metabolite of an anabolic steroid.”

Photo: USAT

“That was a substance where a few years ago would only be detectable for a few days within the system. Now laboratories have found longtime metabolites tests, where metabolites can be detected four maybe up to six months after use. However, Jon [Jones] submitted clean tests on July 6 and July 7 of 2017. His positive test was from July 29. A simple Google search would show you that this substance, it’s detection window has now moved out from four to six months. So, it doesn’t make a lot of sense that anybody with any level of sophistication would choose to use this drug. It had to have been used after July 7, or entered his system after July 7. It would not make sense to go to this drug because of the multi-month detection window. So, that would leave me to believe that it was probably from non-purposeful ingestion.

“So where we are at is that Jon’s team is working hard. We (the UFC) are assisting them wherever we can to try to determine how this substance got into his system. Sometimes that is not a quick process. It can take weeks, if not months of testing supplements and retracing your steps.

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“Best case scenario is if he (Jones) can prove that this (substance) thing came from something that was not high risk.”

What will the UFC do if Jones can once again prove he is innocent of knowingly taking performance enhancers? What could this mean for the UFC’s light heavyweight division? Let us know what you think in the comments!