UFC President Dana White announced Tuesday that Jon Jones failed a drug test prior to his championship win over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 last month.
TMZ was the first to report news of the failed drug test. We have mixed reports over whether or not Jones was stripped of his title: White says that he has not been stripped of the title, but that outcome seems likely.
Jones’ latest failed drug test came from an in-competition sample collected at his weigh-in on July 28, just one day before his fight against Cormier.
Jones later won that fight. Now that the fight’s result was compromised, the result will be changed to a no-contest. Typically, that means Cormier would be the champion. However, the whole situation is a bit of a mess right now.
“Jon is crushed by this news, and we are doing whatever we can as a team to support him,” Jones camp said in a statement released Tuesday. “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.”
This latest drug test could be the end of Jones’ UFC career. The 30-year old former light heavyweight champion was suspended for one year in July 2016 after testing positive for anti-estrogenic agents. Jones claimed he tested positive after taking an unmarked sexual enhancement pill.
Jones’ one year suspension pulled him from his UFC 200 fight against Cormier – a fight during which Brock Lesnar also tested positive for the same anti-estrogenic agents (although that fight was allowed to continue).
Under the UFC’s anti-doping program, repeat offenders may face a suspension doubled in length. Jones’ suspension could last as long as four years.
Cormier, meanwhile, wants to wait for the test results to be confirmed:
“It’s hard to find words to describe how I’m feeling right now,” Cormier said in a statement released Tuesday. “I’m disappointed to hear the news. It’s very emotional. We, as athletes, are entitled to due process, and I will refrain from saying much more until I know exactly what happened.”
The latest fight will be changed to a no-contest. Cormier only has two career losses – both against Jon Jones.
“In my mind, on July 29, I competed, and I lost. I thought Jon Jones was the better man that day. I don't know what to think anymore,” Cormier said. “I can't believe we are going through all of this again. We will see what happens next.”
In all likelihood, Jones’ UFC career is over. The 30-year old may face a suspension as long as four years. Trying to make a comeback at 34 years old is certainly possible – although it doesn’t seem likely. That is, of course, if Dana White will even allow Jones into the UFC.
Prior to the drug test, the UFC was exploring the idea of a superfight between Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic in December.
Jones, meanwhile, looks silly for how he approached the fight with Cormier. Before his win, Jones adamantly denied his PED usage, saying, “Daniel is trying to paint me as a steroid user…he can’t say anything about my actual talent or skills.”
Jones went on to explain how steroid usage was “the thing I despise most” and that “steroids is something I’ve never done.”
Obviously, Jones has a right to request that his “B” sample be tested to confirm the failed test. He also has the right to appeal. Stay tuned for more information about the situation as it continues to move forward.