Well, we know for certain it wasn’t a mistake or an anomaly.
The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) confirmed Tuesday night the “B” sample from Jon Jones’s failed UFC 214 drug test matched the “A” sample findings, which came back positive for the anabolic androgenic steroid Turinabol.
The violation stemmed from a drug screening that took place July 28 following the UFC 214 weigh-ins, one day prior to Jones’s anticipated rematch with Daniel Cormier.
This is not the first time Jones has popped for banned substances in the UFC’s USADA testing era. Jones was suspended one year by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for failing a drug test in the days leading up to a scheduled fight with Cormier at UFC 200 in July 2016. That test showed Jones tested positive for two estrogen blockers, which are sometimes used by an athlete that has done a cycle of anabolic steroids.
Unlike the situation at UFC 200 where Jones was removed from the card, the UFC 214 main event was allowed to take place because the results of the July 28 screening were not known until Aug. 22. Jones defeated Cormier by third-round knockout in what was perhaps the most impressive stoppage victory of his 24-fight career.
Jones is entitled to due process, which is why the UFC has yet to strip him of the promotion’s light-heavyweight title. However, MMAFighting’s Marc Raimondi reported Wednesday afternoon that the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) has decided to overturn Jones’s UFC 214 win and change it to a no-contest.
Unless Jones and his representatives can prove any supplements he was taking in the lead-up to UFC 214 were tainted, Jones will be stripped of his title yet again and he will be handed a lengthy suspension.
The 30-year-old faces a suspension of up to four years because he is a repeat offender. Jones will have his case heard at a disciplinary hearing in front of the CSAC (because UFC 214 took place in Anaheim, Calif.) later this year.
“We are all at a complete loss for words right now,” his manager Malki Kawa said in a statement back in August prior to the “B” sample being tested. “Jon, his trainers, his nutritionists and his entire camp have worked tirelessly and meticulously the past 12 months to avoid this exact situation … Jon is crushed by this news and we are doing whatever we can as a team, to support him.”
Jones has yet to comment publicly but has made an effort to stay positive on social media.
Jones, widely regarded as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time, has lost the respect of many of his peers after multiple failed drug tests. Canadian Bellator MMA star Rory MacDonald recently called Jones’s failed test “shameful” and current UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping said he thinks Jones deserves a lifetime ban from the sport.
“If you have a history of taking performance-enhancing drugs, there’s no place for it,” Bisping told SI Now on Wednesday. “This is a vicious sport. It’s not for everybody. We’re not trying to put a ball into a basket, we’re trying to—you can dress it up however you want—we’re trying to beat our opponents, either into submission or knock them out. Performance-enhancing drugs have no place in this sport.”