Jon Jones ‘crushed’ as USADA notifies him of potential anti-doping violation
UFC president Dana White and vice-president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky held a press conference Tuesday evening following the conclusion of the Tuesday Night Contender Series, partially to address Jones’ potential positive test.
The UFC also released the following statement on its website.
The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Jon Jones of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an in-competition sample collected following his weigh-in on July 28, 2017.
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. 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.
Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.
Several sources have unofficially said Jones tested positive for Turniabol, an anabolic steroid.
“It’s hard to find words to describe how I’m feeling right now. I’m disappointed to hear the news. It’s very emotional. We as athletes are entitled to due process, and I will refrain from saying much more until I know exactly what happened.”
Jones has previously tested positive for cocaine following his win over Cormier at UFC 182 in January 2015. He was fined $25,000 USD. Jones was then was stripped of the title in April 2015 following a hit-and-run incident. Cormier then fought Anthony Johnson at UFC 187 to win the belt.
“Bones” was reinstated in October 2015 and at UFC 197 in April 2016, defeated Ovince St. Preux by decision for the interim light heavyweight belt.
Jones was then scheduled to rematch Cormier at UFC 200 to unify the belt, but then tested positive for Clomiphene and Ietrozole following a June 16, 2016 out-of-competition sample for which he was removed and replaced by Anderson Silva. He was suspended for one year retroactive to July 7, 2016 and returned to competition on July 7, 2017 to rematch Cormier at UFC 214.
Statement from Jon Jones's camp. pic.twitter.com/uMxsMWZMij
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) August 23, 2017
Novitzky spoke generically that for repeat offenders, their penalties are generally doubled, depending on the situation. This means Jones could be looking at a four-year ban as this is his second potential steroid offence.
Then there is the issue of the UFC light heavyweight title, which Jones currently still owns. The UFC – despite initial early reports – has not stripped Jones of the belt as of yet, but will likely do that once the results are confirmed and due process plays out.
The process continues.