Things are looking good so far for Jon Jones’ case regarding his failed drug test in July.
Three days prior his main event bout against Daniel Cormier at UFC 200, USADA revealed that the former light-heavyweight champion had tested positive for banned estrogen blockers and was pulled from the fight as a result. Jones claimed he was innocent and that the failed test was likely due to a tainted supplement which lead to further investigation by USADA.
Howard Jacobs, Jones’ attorney, appeared recently on The Luke Thomas Show where he said that USADA had independently confirmed that a supplement Jones took during his training had been contaminated with the exact banned substances he tested positive for.
“We've been able to establish the source of the prohibited substances. It came from a product that Jon took that was not labelled with either of these substances,” Jacobs said. “We had it tested, the product was contaminated with both of them. I know USADA also independently had the product tested; their testing confirms what we found. We then sent essentially the same pills that we had had tested to be tested by USADA's lab, which also found the same thing. So pretty much every time it's been tested, it's shown that the product is contaminated with both clomiphene and Letrozole, the two substances [Jones tested positive for].”
UFC middleweight contender Yoel Romero faced the same issue earlier this year following his UFC 194 victory over “Jacare” Souza. After it was confirmed that his supplements were contaminated, USADA gave him a shortened six month suspension. The difference with Jones’ case is that the substance that Jones tested positive for has a maximum suspension of one year whereas Romero’s was two. This means that Jones may be let off with just a warning.
“It should definitely lead to a significant reduction, that's our position. The way the anti-doping rules, at least with the UFC program, are written, they mirror the World Anti-Doping Code to some extent. There are some differences but essentially in a case like this you can't argue that you have no fault if you take a supplement or product that's contaminated but you can argue that you're not significantly at fault, which gives you the ability to argue for a reduced sanction. So the sanction range under the UFC rules would be between a warning at a minimum and of course the maximum is at a year.”
If Jones does get off with a warning, he could be back by early 2017 to face the winner of Daniel Cormier vs Anthony Johnson in a unification bout.