UFC Star Jon Jones Suspended For One Year For USADA Violation
It’s another year on the bench for UFC star Jon Jones. The ruling came down today as the former light heavyweight champion was suspended for one year for failing a drug test from USADA back in July, a drug test failure that prevented him from fighting Daniel Cormier at UFC 200.
According to Wrestling Observer, Jones claimed to have received a tainted supplement from a teammate, arguing that this is why he tested positive for clomiphene and Letrozol, which are both banned under USADA guidelines. But the ruling specified that it didn’t really matter whether Jones was given a tainted supplement or not. The simple fact that he took a pill from a teammate without knowing what was in it was considered reckless by the agency. As a result, it was ruled that Jones was completely at fault for his failure. Unfortunately for Jones, it might not be over, as he still has to face the Nevada State Athletic Commission. If he’s found to be at fault, the NAC could impose further punishment.
UFC released a statement on the drug test failure, and the subsequent Jones suspension:
“UFC is aware of the one-year sanction levied against Jon Jones as a result of his UFC Anti-Doping Policy violation, decided by a three-person arbitration panel held on Monday, October 31, 2016. UFC has been advised that the one-year suspension commenced on Wednesday, July 6, 2016. While the decision indicates no evidence of Jones’ intentional use of banned substances, it does highlight the care and diligence that is required by athletes competing in the UFC to ensure that no prohibited substances enter their system.”
Despite this setback, Jones is looking to get back to competition of a different kind, agreeing to a grappling match against Dan Henderson at the Submission Underground show for FloGrappling.com on December 11 (for updates on the show, and subscription info, hit up the official show page). Grappling is not subject to athletic commission guidelines, which is why Jones is allowed to compete despite being under suspension.
This is a major blow to UFC, as Jones/Cormier was a fight the company had been banking on for some time as a box office draw. But now? It looks like the light heavyweight division will have to build from within rather than trusting Jones not to somehow screw up again.
But what do you think of Jones’s suspension? Sound off in the comments!