Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Jon Jones celebrates UFC, USADA split, demands removal of no-contest result: ‘I’ve never cheated this sport’

UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones wants his professional record amended following the news that UFC and the United States Anti-Doping Agency will be parting ways this year. Specifically, Jones wants a no-contest struck from his record.

USADA announced on Wednesday that its contract with UFC would come to an end on Dec. 31 after the two parties failed to reach a new agreement. Jones described himself as a survivor of the drug testing program when reacting to the news.

“Man, I survived USADA,” Jones tweeted on Wednesday. “First, they said I was guilty of having picograms. Then they considered me innocent. Next picograms became legal. Guess what I’m still here, still unbeaten. That B.S. no-contest over [Daniel Cormier] needs to be taken off my record. I’ve never cheated this sport and I will stand by that until the day I die.”

Jones is referring to his highlight-reel knock out of Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 on July 29, 2017. Jones stopped Cormier with a head kick and follow-up punches to recapture the UFC light heavyweight title. The California State Athletic Commission subsequently announced that Jones tested positive for turinabol metabolite, a banned substance. The fight result was overturned, Jones was stripped of the title and Cormier was reinstated as champion.

That incident was far from Jones’ only run-in with athletic commissions and anti-doping programs. Jones tested positive for benzoylecgonine, the primary metabolite of cocaine in a random drug test conducted in December 2014. Jones was permitted to compete at UFC 182 after passing a subsequent test because it was not a banned out-of-competition substance. Jones also withdrew from UFC 200 during fight week after testing positive for clomiphene, an anti-estrogen substance, and letrozole, an aromatase inhibitor ahead of a scheduled fight with Cormier.

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UFC even uprooted the entire UFC 232 card from Las Vegas to Los Angeles on short notice after inconsistencies with his drug test. The CSAC determined a trace amount of turinabol which doctors attributed to a long-term “pulsing effect” of the M3 metabolite detected in 2017. Jones was permitted to compete after the commission determined no evidence of Jones readministering turinabol or benefiting from enhanced performance.

Jones alluded to his past substance use in a since-deleted tweet but denied using steroids.

“Yeah, I became the youngest champion in the sport’s history,” Jones said in a deleted tweet captured by MMA Junkie. “Probably the youngest millionaire in the sport’s history. Unfortunately, I didn’t handle it correctly and became a bit of a party boy. Definitely doesn’t qualify me to be a steroid cheat. You know nothing about being a star athlete.”

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