This article was originally published by FIGHTLAND
A positive out-of-competition drug test was the reason UFC interim light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones was pulled off the historic UFC 200 card back in July. He was supposed to fight Daniel Cormier, but just days before the big event the main bout had to be cancelled – adding another speed bump to Jon's slow road to redemption.
According to ESPN, the attorney representing Jones in this particular case, Howard Jacobs, believes the banned substances in question were consumed by way of what he thought was a Cialis (tadalafil) pill, a sexual enhancer, but an off-brand version of the drug. According to Jacobs, the pill was given to Jones by his teammate Eric Blasich, who bought it online.
Nevertheless, after an arbitration process, the United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) has found Jones at fault and has suspended him for a year. So far, the UFC, Jones, and USADA have all made formal statements.
The next step in the process will be to hear from the infamous Nevada Athletic Commission, which will dole out it's own punishment after what is sure to be a another painstaking and uncomfortable hearing from MMA's least favourite qusi-legal body.
Included in the USADA Statement:
"Jones, 29, tested positive for the presence of two prohibited substances, clomiphene and letrozole, following an out-of-competition urine test on June 16, 2016. Clomiphene and letrozole are both Specified Substances in the class of Hormone and Metabolic Modulators and are prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, the standard sanction for a policy violation involving a Specified Substance is a one-year period of ineligibility. [...] Jones' one-year period of ineligibility began on July 6, 2016, the date of his provisional suspension."
Jon Jones' Statement to ESPN:
"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 wrongdoing 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."
"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."