Did Jon Jones commit serious doping violations ahead of his UFC 200 fight against Daniel Cormier? Almost immediately after news the Jones vs. Cormier fight was axed, the former light heavyweight champion's manager, Malki Kawa, took to social media to deny doping allegations.Bloody Elbow reported that Jon Jones would formally address the unfolding doping scandal during a press conference on Thursday morning. MMA reporter Ariel Helwani tweeted out the details. Despite what Jon Jones's manager claims, there seems to be pretty strong evidence that Jon tested positive for at least one banned substance. However, the nature of the banned drug in question is currently unknown. What is known is that if Jones was found to be in violation of anti-doping regulations, he could be facing a two-year ban. While missing a fight against long-time rival Daniel Cormier would be disappointing, it seems to be the least of Jon Jones' worries. The UFC has already released a statement in response to the Jones drug test results.
MMAFighting had this to say about the situation.
"Because Jones was scheduled to compete against Daniel Cormier this coming Saturday, July 9 in Las Vegas, there is insufficient time for a full review before the scheduled bout and therefore the fight has been removed from the fight card. As a result, the three-round heavyweight bout between Brock Lesnar andMark Hunt will become the UFC 200 main event."Jon Jones appeared before the press a little after 11:30 a.m EST to speak about the failed drug test and his removal from the UFC 200 main event. The event was available via live stream on YouTube, with video and quotes made available via MMAFighting.com. Jon was accompanied by his manager, Malki Kawa, and publicist Denise White. The very first words Jones spoke were an admission that he didn't know what to say. Although the immediate response by Jones and his team was to explain his side of recent events, it was very clear that Jon was still emotional about the entire situation.
"Consistent with all previous potential anti-doping violations, additional information or UFC statements will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward."
His first action was to offer up apologies to his fans, to opponent Daniel Cormier, and to his UFC bosses. When more detailed questions were asked about the nature of the test, Jones deferred them to Kawa. Overcome with emotion, Jon Jones briefly left the stage.
During Jon's absence, his manager continued his staunch declarations that the fighter was innocent of wrongdoing. The B sample, which tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug, will be retested today. The result is expected to be available as soon as tonight. Although the odds of the same coming back as negative are slim, his team is hoping that Jon Jones will somehow be exonerated.When Jon Jones did return to the stage, he admitted that he was trying to remain optimistic and "stay positive about the whole situation," but expressed that it was difficult. The proof of this was evident to everyone in the room as Jon was visibly upset throughout the remainder of the presser, visibly shedding tears.
Jon Jones' disappointment at being taken off the card and possibly having a dark mark on his career thanks to a doping scandal was clearly upsetting. He insisted that he didn't knowingly take any illegal substances. At the same time, Jon admitted he failed to "write down" his supplements, not thinking "something like this could happen." It's looking increasingly as though poor supplement vetting could ultimately be the culprit, although that likely won't get the fighter off the hook.
If Jones is faced with a two-year ban, he did state that he would try to come back to the UFC to fight at some point. For now, he's trying to "find the good in the situation" and "continue to fight."
Do you think Jones intentionally doped? If not, should that factor into the length of any potential ban? Share your thoughts below!
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