In what has to be the most disappointing and bizarre story to come out of the UFC in a long time, Jon Jones has, once again, tested positive for a steroid and failed a USADA drug test. According to TMZ Sports, the UFC star reportedly tested positive for Turinabol, an anabolic steroid, prior to his UFC 214 win over Daniel Cormier.
Jones decisively won July 29, 2017, fight for the UFC Light Heavyweight Belt from Cormier. Afterward, Jones challenged Brock Lesnar to a big money fight down the road and many who watched the fight unfold were in agreement that Jones had once again cemented himself as potentially the best MMA fighter in UFC history. Now, Jones will now go through the disciplinary process and his title could be stripped, which would make the fight a “no contest” and the title would go back to Cormier.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 23, 2017
Just days before one of the biggest fights in the history of pay-per-view — when Conor McGregor takes on Floyd Mayweather — the Jones controversy has stolen a ton of the thunder in the MMA and fighting world. Fans everywhere have ranged in emotions from shock to anger to a calm understanding that it isn’t really surprising that Jones, who has a history of poor choices, could have done something so foolish again.
A spokesperson released a statement to MMA Fighting regarding the situation.
“We can’t comment on an on-going case, but importantly all athletes under the UFC anti-doping program are innocent unless and until the established process determines otherwise. As part of this process, Mr. Jones is given the opportunity to be heard, confront and cross examine the evidence and have the ultimate decision of whether he violated the rules or not be decided by independent judges. It’s only fair to let due process occur before drawing any conclusions about Mr. Jones.”
On the flip side, Jones’ camp is saying this news just doesn’t add up. His team firmly believes that their fighter is the target of an elaborate set-up and that he didn’t in fact cheat. Their argument is that for Jones to start doing steroids and to be caught for the steroid he took, there is absolutely no logical reason for him to take the drugs he’s alleged to have taken and that they would have had to have been in his system for some time. That is counter to the news that the test that caught Jones was administered between the weigh-in and the fight on July 28, 2017.
Jones’ manager Malki Kawa released a statement on his Facebook page. “I know how hard he worked to get back to where he’s at. This is definitely heartbreaking. He def didn’t cheat or use steroids. But I’m with him now more than the night he won the belt.”
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) August 23, 2017
Many believe this could spell the end of Jones’ MMA fighting career. This is now the second time he’s tested positive (the first was before a fight at UFC 200) and at that time he blamed it on a male enhancement pill he was unaware contained a different banned substance. His first infraction led to a ban of one year.
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Jones has been stripped of the title and Cormier will reclaim it, according to TMZ, which was first to report the news on Tuesday afternoon before the UFC’s official statement. UFC president Dana White confirmed the failed test to ESPN, called it an unbelievable development, but also said the decision to strip Jones hasn’t been determined yet. Jones will get an opportunity to a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed.
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