In a move that could sideline arguably the sport’s greatest fighter for another extended period, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones allegedly tested positive for the anabolic steroid turinabol before his victory over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 last month in Anaheim, Calif.
A UFC official confirmed the finding, but said Jones has yet to be stripped of the title. Jones’ manager, Malki Kawa, said via text message, “No clue [what happened]. I’m figuring it out now.” He said when he gathered details, a statement would be released.
If the positive test is upheld by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, it will sideline him for at least a year and likely for two years, given this is his second official positive test. Three days before UFC 200, which was set for July 9, 2016, Jones was yanked from the main event of a match with Cormier that was scheduled for T-Mobile Arena when results of a random test he was given in June showed clomiphene and letrozole in his system.
Jones admitted that he had taken what he thought was a pill that was similar to Cialis that would aid in sexual performance. USADA suspended him for one year, but ruled he didn’t intentionally use a performance-enhancing drug.
Turinabol is an oral steroid that promotes muscular endurance and speeds recovery time.
The UFC released the following statement on Tuesday night:
“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, who knocked out his arch rival Cormier with a kick to the head in the third round of a compelling bout at the Honda Center on July 28, has faced a slew of issues during his UFC career.
He’s widely regarded not only as the best fighter in the world but also as the greatest of all time.
His biggest challenge has been keeping himself out of trouble, which he hasn’t been able to do. He had a DUI near his hometown of Endicott, N.Y., on May 19, 2012, running his car into a tree.
He brawled with Cormier in the lobby of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in 2014 following a news conference. In December of that year, he tested positive for cocaine prior to a bout at UFC 182 on Jan. 3, 2015, against Cormier, but because cocaine is only banned in-competition, no action was taken against Jones.
Jones won that bout against Cormier, but was involved in a hit-and-run auto accident in Albuquerque, N.M., on April 28, 2015, that injured a pregnant woman. He was stripped of his belt at that point.
In late March 2016, he got into a dispute with an Albuquerque police officer. He was accused of drag racing and was issued multiple tickets. Jones contended he just revved the engine of his car. But he became extraordinarily angry at the police officer who stopped him and video of that exchange went viral.
Jones was yanked from UFC 200 after the positive test, and was out until just before the Anaheim show last month in which he regained his title.
Because of his various controversies, Jones has only fought once in each of the last three years.
He called out WWE star Brock Lesnar, a former UFC heavyweight champion, following his July 28 victory over Cormier. That would have been arguably the biggest fight in UFC history, were it to happen, but Lesnar also has had drug-test failures and is currently suspended by USADA (though he’s free to compete in the WWE).
Cormier failed to return a message seeking comment.