Another chance, again? Jon Jones given retroactive 15-month USADA suspension
After serving an interesting sentence by USADA, Jon Jones could be ready for UFC 230 inside MSG
Once again, the Jon Jones circus show has dominated the news cycle. This time, he has gotten some sort of closure, and the timing could not have been better.
Jones (21-1 (1NC)) was given a 15-month suspension by USADA, retroactive to his failed drug test for Turinabol metabolite on July 28, 2017. The arbitrator for the case stated that there was “no intention by Jones to cheat”, even though a substance that was illegal was taken. Like McGregor, Jones’ sentence is somewhat light; three months of community service and a $205,000 fine in order to regain his fight license. Here is the entire ruling of the case for your viewing pleasure.
Jones is currently eligible to return to in-ring action on October 28.
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It’s difficult to express myself at this moment but I can definitely say my heart is filled with gratitude and appreciation. I want to thank all of you who have stood by me during the toughest stretch of my life. It has meant the world to me and always will. But now is the time to shift the focus front and center to the road ahead. Greatness is what I’m chasing and the path to reclaiming my throne is now officially open. Comeback Season begins now
This is similar to a previous case in 2016, where he was found to have unknowingly ingested a bad substance. He was given a suspension for his behavior that time around. Returning to action, Jones ended up beating Daniel Cormier for the UFC Light Heavyweight Title at UFC 214, before the news broke out. He was then stripped of the title and was force to go in front of the CSAC board.
The news has caused a divide among the MMA community, for a multitude of reasons. Many wondered how this all manifested in a matter of minutes. Jones must has seen the film Goodfellas, as he ended up being a big help to USADA. While some call it a “rat”, others would call Jones an informant.
Bloody Elbow’s Iain Kidd went into great detail on how Jones’ sentence was reduced from a few years to a few months. There is a “snitching” clause in UFC’s anti-doping policy, one that fighters didn’t necessarily come to terms with UFC brass about (hello Project Spearhead). The 30-month reduction in Jones’ sentence is due to him providing information on users, sellers, etc. This can lead to sanctions and possible criminal investigations. In order for his suspension to remain the way it is, he must cooperate. While it might seem unsettling to most people, Jones has openly said he has a history of this sort of thing.
Something else interesting from the arbitration award:
Jon Jones was still using cocaine both before and after testing positive for Turinabol, per the arbitration award. Was checked into a month long rehab later.
— Iain Kidd (@iainkidd) September 20, 2018
Something that has caught the eye of many is the timing of this all. UFC 230, which takes place on November 3 inside Madison Square Garden, is without a main event. UFC President Dana White openly said Jones would not be at the event. Recently, many take what he says with a grain of salt. It would be the perfect marketing ploy to boost ticket sales, along with another redemption fight for Jones. Perhaps he will make the announcement at the UFC 229 press conference in New York City.
At only 31 years old, Jones has missed a lot of time in his young career due to his reckless decisions. Now, he has been given, yes given, an opportunity to make things right. Whether USADA cares to continually test him like they do Daniel Cormier is up in the air. Many believe the system to be corrupt, while others have just been waiting months for the return of one of the best UFC fighters of all time.
The next few weeks should be extremely interesting. Now that most of the details have come out, all eyes are on Jon Jones once again. Let’s see what he does with all of that attention.
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