JON Jones failed a drug test at UFC 214, testing positive for steroids as he took the light-heavyweight title back from Daniel Cormier, Dana White has confirmed.
TMZ broke the news, reporting that Jones had tested positive for Turinabol, an anabolic steroid, after his third-round TKO victory over Cormier in Anaheim last month.
Turinabol carries a two-year suspension from USADA for first-time offenders and longer for repeat offenders – which would include Jones. The superstar’s manager said Jones was “crushed” by news of the failed test (more below).
White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that Jones, 30, was yet to be stripped of his title, though that would appear a formality. MMAFighting.com, which confirmed Jones’ positive test with the California State Athletic Commission, reported that Jones had been provisionally suspended by the UFC.
The UFC issued a confirmation on its website, saying it had been notified by USADA.
“USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Jones, as it relates to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and future UFC participation,” the UFC statement said.
“Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) also retains jurisdiction over this matter as the sample collection was performed the day before Jones’ bout at UFC 214 in Anaheim, CA, and USADA will work to ensure that the CSAC has the necessary information to determine its proper judgment of Jones’ potential anti-doping violation.”
Jones’ manager Malki Kawa released a statement, saying the superstar was “crushed”.
“We are all at a complete loss for words right now,” the statement said. “Jon, his trainers, his nutritionists and his entire camp have worked tirelessly and meticulously the past 12 months to avoid this exact situation. We are having the samples tested again to determine the validity or source of contamination. Jon is crushed by this news and we are doing whatever we can as a team, to support him.”
Turinabol carries a two-year suspension from USADA for first-time offenders and longer for repeat offenders – which would include Jones.
The superstar’s career lies in tatters, having just returned from a drug ban that followed his scandalous failed test before UFC 200 in mid-2016. He served a one-year ban from USADA after testing positive to two banned substances, clomiphene and letrozol, which he claimed was the result of taking a “dick pill”.
Jones (23-1) was outspoken about alleged drug use in the lead-up to his second defeat of Cormier, with social media posts like this now coming back to haunt him:
Daniel says the only reason I defeated him the first time is because I must have been on steroids, wonder what his excuse will be this time pic.twitter.com/HMCFQBoBR4
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) July 21, 2017
However, Jones also boasted about his use of recreational drugs ahead of the fight, claiming he beat Cormier the first time (UFC 182) after partying.
“I beat you after a weekend of cocaine,” Jones said at a press conference. “I had two great weekends. Back-to-back weekends. Cocaine one, your ass the next. It was great. That’s a month for the ages.”
Jones also tested positive to a metabolite found in cocaine during 2014, which caused him to enter drug rehab – infamously, for one single day before checking himself out.
Jones was already on poor terms with UFC president White, thanks to his chequered history of behaviour. Depending on the length of any potential USADA ban, his career in MMA’s biggest promotion may well be over.
Should he be stripped of his belt, it would be for the second time, after losing it in 2015 after being involved in a hit-and-run accident involving a pregnant woman.
Ironically, Jones called out another known drug cheat – former UFC heavyweight champion and current WWE star Brock Lesnar – after beating Cormier.
“Brock Lesnar, if you want to know what it feels like to get your ass kicked by a guy who weighs 40 pounds less than you, meet me in the octagon,” he said.
Jones also paid tribute to bitter rival Cormier after UFC 214, leading many to believe he had turtned a new chapter in his career after becoming the promotion’s arch villain.
“I want to take this time to thank ‘DC’ for being my greatest rival and motivator,” Jones said.
“He has no reason to hang his head. He is a model champion, and I aspire to be more like that man.
“He’s an amazing human being. I know we were opponents, but outside of that, he is a true champion for the rest of his life.”
Cormier is yet to respond to the news of Jones’ positive test.
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Originally published as UFC scandal as Jones busted for steroids