UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has failed a drug test for a steroid, a UFC official today told MMAjunkie.
The UFC later announced that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency had notified Jones of a potential doping violation in a statement on its web site, noting the violation came from an in-competition sample following weigh-ins for his bout against Daniel Cormier at UFC 214, where he recaptured the belt via third-round knockout.
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.
Jones issued a statement through his manager in reaction to the news.
Javier Mendez, Cormier’s coach, provided a text message response to USA TODAY Sports’ A.J. Perez.
According to the UFC official, Jones tested positive for the steroid turinabol, an anabolic agent famously linked to a doping scandal involving athletes from East Germany in the 1970s and 1980s.
It’s Jones’ second positive test for steroids and third overall failed drug test. He also tested positive for a steroid following UFC 200 and was stripped of the interim belt prior to a scheduled title unifier against Cormier. Following his first win over Cormier at UFC 182, he tested positive for cocaine out of competition and was fined by the UFC for violating the promotion’s code of conduct.
Jones drew a one-year ban for his first positive steroid test after a USADA arbitrator ruled he did not intentionally dope, but was negligent in taking a sexual enhancement pill prior to UFC 200. He now faces a potential four-year ban for his second USADA offense.
TMZ was first to report the news of the latest positive test. The report stated Jones has been stripped of the UFC light heavyweight belt, but the UFC official told MMAjunkie that decision is not yet final.
The California State Athletic Commission, which regulated the bout, issued the following statement on the situation:
“The California State Athletic Commission has been made aware of Jon Jones’ test results and is looking into the matter. The Commission takes these matters very seriously and will take any appropriate actions necessary after a thorough review of the situation. As with all fighters, Mr. Jones is entitled to due process and the Commission will work with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to get all of the proper information.”
Outside of the cage, Jones has also repeatedly run afoul of the law. The most serious incident came in April 2015 when he was involved in a hit-and-run accident that left a pregnant woman with a broken arm, which prompted the UFC to strip him of the light heavyweight title. He plead guilty and received probation in exchange for giving speaking appearances.
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