The fate of Jon Jones’ fighting future was revealed on Monday. Jones was suspended for one year by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), exactly one week after an arbitration hearing in Los Angeles. The former UFC light heavyweight champion had tested positive for multiple banned substances — estrogen blockers clomiphene and Letrozole — and was removed from his UFC 200 main event rematch with Daniel Cormier.
Jones has since released a statement on his ban, which can be read in the paragraph below. (Via MMA Fighting)
“Although I was hopeful for a better outcome in the USADA ruling today, I am very respectful of the process in which they allowed me to defend myself. I have always maintained my innocence and I am very happy I have been cleared in any wrong doing pursuant to the allegations made that I had intentionally taken a banned substance. I am pleased that in USADA’s investigation they determined I was “not a cheater of the sport”. Being cleared of these allegations was very important to me. I have worked hard in and outside of the octagon to regain my image and my fighting career and will take these next eight months to continue my training and personal growth both as a man and a athlete. Thank you to all of my fans, teammates, coaches, sponsors and to the UFC for their continued support.”
The arbitrators from McLaren Global Sports Solutions deemed that Jones is “not a drug cheat,” but his actions were “reckless” and that he otherwise “did not know that the tablet he took contained prohibited substances or that those substances had the capacity to enhance sporting performance.” Arbitrators also noted that Jones’ “imprudent use of what he pungently referred to as a ‘dick pill’ he has not only lost a year of his career but an estimated nine million dollars.”
Because the ban is retroactive to when the positive test was announced, Jones’ suspension will end on July 6th, 2017. The punishment that the Nevada Athletic Commission will impose remains to be seen, and another continuance request has been filed by Jones’ team, with the next NAC agenda hearing set for November 10th.
It’s also worth noting that Jones’ failure for “specified substances” meant a maximum ban of 1 year, as opposed to 2 years for first-time offenders. In the meantime, he’ll be grappling Dan Henderson in the main event of Submission Underground 2 on December 11th.