UFC interim light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones has been suspended for one year by USADA for his failed drug test prior to UFC 200 in July.
The suspension is retroactive from the day the results of the failed test were announced, meaning that Jones will be free to compete again in July of next year.
Jones tested positive for two banned estrogen blockers during an out-of-competition test a month prior to the event, which could have led to a two year ban from the sport.
However, Jones’ legal team were able to successfully argue at an arbitration hearing late last month that he had unwittingly ingested the substances by way of a sexual enhancement pill.
The 29 year old’s claim was that he had been given the pill by a teammate, which he was believed was Cialis, which is not on the banned list, but it later emerged that it was a different brand called Blasich from AllAmericanPeptide.com that was proven to be a tainted supplement.
“On the evidence before the Panel, [Jones] is not a drug cheat,” the USADA panel announced. “He did not know that the tablet he took contained prohibited substances or that those substances had the capacity to enhance sporting performance.
“However, by his imprudent use of what he pungently referred to as a ‘d— pill,’ he has not only lost a year of his career but an estimated nine million dollars. This outcome which he admits to be a wake-up call for him should serve as a warning to all others who participate in the same sport.”
Jones has also since issued a statement, accepting his punishment, while noting that he had been hoping for a more lenient ruling.
“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 stated. “I have always maintained my innocence and I am very happy I have been cleared in any wrong doing 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.”
This is not the end of the matter for Jones though, as he could still receive further punishment when he goes before the Nevada State Athletic Commission at a later date.