News broke last evening that UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC) has been notified by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) of a potential doping violation. Jones, who was returning from a one year suspension related to the use of a sexual enhancement drug prior to UFC 200, defeated Daniel Cormier (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) by third round knockout at UFC 214 to win the championship.
The potential violation came from an in-competition sample that followed the weigh-ins for UFC 214. A UFC official indicated that the positive test is for the steroid turinabol. The drug is an anabolic agent that was linked to a doping scandal involving athletes from East Germany in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
UFC released the following statement regarding the matter via their 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.
The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC), as the regulating authority for the bout, also released a statement on the potential violation:
“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.”
This is not the first time Jones has tested positive for drugs. Following a victory over Daniel Cormier at UFC 182, Jones tested positive for cocaine out of competition but was only fined for a violation of UFC’s code of conduct. As noted, he also tested positive for a steroid following UFC 200, but was only given a one year suspension for negligence in taking a sexual enhancement pill.
Jones’ manager released the following statement regarding the test results:
“We are all at a complete loss for words right now. 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 crush by this news and we are doing whatever we can as a team to support him.”
While the TMZ report noted that Jones had already been stripped of the championship, MMAJunkie.com is reporting that an official decision to strip Jones of the title has not been made yet.