Interim UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones has been suspended one year by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, following a violation over the summer.
The 29-year-old MMA failed an out-of-competition drug test on June 16, testing positive for the banned substances clomiphene and letrozole. This resulted in him being pulled from the UFC 200 card, where he was set to take on Daniel Cormier in an anticipated rematch.
However, the ruling found that Jones did not take any banned substances intentionally, which is the most important thing to the fighter.
“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,” Jones said in a statement to ESPN. “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.”
The UFC acknowledged the suspension in a statement of their own. “While the decision indicates no evidence of Jones’ intentional use of banned substances,” the statement read, “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.”
Jones’ camp has revealed that he took a sexual enhancement pill he believed was Cialis. He stated that he received a pill from teammate Eric Blasich “on or about June 14”, but later found out the pill was not Cialis, but another form of tadalafil that Blasich had purchased from AllAmericanPeptide.com.
The USADA independently obtained and tested a supply of tadalafil from AllAmericanPetptide.com and found it to be contaminated with the banned substances for which Jones tested positive.
Jones has fought just twice since the start of 2015. He was stripped of the title last year, due to a well-publicized hit-n-run incident.
Upon his return, he won the Interim title, when he defeated Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 197 in April. He was then scheduled to fight Cormier at UFC 200, when the failed drug test emerged.