After 24 hours since he was flagged by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Jon Jones is set to battle their results as he will be asking for a re-test to clear his name of using performance enhancing drugs (PED).
The USADA factor crumbles Jones’ dream of reclaiming his UFC light heavyweight title that is currently held by Daniel Cormier. They were supposed to meet this Saturday at UFC 200 in their unification bout and a rematch that fight fans have longed anticipated. But with the turn of events, things will have to wait as Jones goes the long road again to prove his innocence.
In a press conference, Jones apologized to fight fans who have come out to support him and for those who are very eager to see him fight Cormier this Saturday. He also apologized to Daniel Cormier because of his preparations, which tells that the fight means a lot to him as well. Jones explained that he and his camp will contest the USADA results. Jones has been accused of taking a banned substance that falls under the “performance-enhancement” category, and that he fully intends to fight the ruling and use his rights to have the B-Sample re-tested, which will happen later in the day.
“I want to first apologize to the fans who came out to support me in UFC 200. Obviously, the UFC prevented us from performing and I know there is a lot going into this fight. I want to apologize to Daniel Cormier, I know this fight means a lot to him as the fight meant a lot to me and the fight is not happening. I want to apologize to all sincerely,” Jones said.
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Jones noted that USDA found something in his sample that was taken on June 16 but they do not know what it is. They are not at liberty to discuss in details the test but denied that it has something to do with his performance. He added that it is the same supplement that he has been taking since he started in the UFC.
“They found something in one of my samples that I have no clue what it is. I don’t even know how to pronounce it. I’ve been taking the same supplements the majority of my career. I’ve been so outspoken about being against any type of performance enhancers. To this day, I’m extremely against performance enhancers. The whole thing sucks. Being labeled as someone who would cheat hurts more than anything else I’ve ever been through in my career,” Jones explained.
Jones’ manager, Malki Kawa, stressed that his ward has requested the USADA for a B-Sample re-test, although they acknowledge that chances of it clearing his name would be slim. But it is a chance Jones is willing to take. The USADA, on their part, has already notified the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Jones case and issued a statement that Jones will be provided due process in accordance with their rules.
According to USADA, this is the first time that Jones was flagged down for testing positive for using PEDs. Jones tested positive for traces of cocaine before a fight against Cormier at UFC 182 in January 2015.
Under the UFC Anti-Doping program, fighters who tested positive will have to serve a two-year suspension and Jones is thinking of it as the last resort. He vowed to clear his name and stressed that if will sit it out for two years, he will come back strong and clear of any drug use allegation.
“If I do have to sit out two years, I will definitely be back,” Jones said. “I’m already thinking about the good that can happen. I’m optimistic. But man, at the end of the day, I’m a fighter. I’m a fighter. Even though I may seem broken up here, I’m not broken. I’m just really upset.”
Jones was supposed to fight Cormier at UFC 200 and called the bout “redemption” for him ever since he was stripped of his title last year following a hit-and-run charge in New Mexico. He pleaded guilty to the charges and managed to avoid jail time. It is unfortunate for things like this to happen but rules are rules and these should be followed for the integrity of the UFC.
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