The floor just fell out from underneath Jon Jones triumphant return to the UFC. After coming out victorious against arch-rival Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 last month, and winning back the light heavyweight championship in the process, the UFC has announced that USADA has notified them of a failed in-competition drug test by Jones. The promotion announced the news in a statement today. The sample in question was taken following the UFC 214 weigh-in on July 28, and was collected by the California State Athletic Commission.
As per the UFC’s statement,
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.
The news will no doubt send Daniel Cormier for a loop, and may lift the fallen champ’s spirits. Cormier previously contended that Jones was on performance enhancing drugs throughout most of his career.
TMZ is reporting that Jones tested positive for Turinabol, an anabolic steroid. Traditionally, neither the UFC nor USADA publicly release the substance a fighter tested positive for this early in the process. However, if correct, Jones would be looking at a suspension of two years, and his earlier failed drug test leading up to UFC 200 under the USADA regime will likely be considered. That failed drug test, for a pair of estrogen blockers, resulted in a year-long suspension for Jones, though USADA cleared him of intentionally taking the substances. Instead, Jones blamed “d*** pills” he had taken.
With the test failure, Jones could be looking at the loss of his newly won title in addition to suspension. Were his win over Cormier overturned, DC would regain his title belt. In short, the UFC’s light heavyweight division is about to be thrown into pure chaos.
Should Jones be found to have taken steroids and wind up stripped of his title, he will have been stripped of a UFC belt for the third time. Jones already holds the promotional record for having been stripped of a title twice, having lost the light heavyweight title after hitting a pregnant woman with his car and fleeing the scene, then the interim title after the failed UFC 200 drug test.