Jon Jones has received a full one-year suspension for his failed UFC 200 drug test.
The former light-heavyweight champion’s case was presented to an independent, three-member arbitration panel from McLaren Global Sports Solutions who ultimately decided that Jones deserved a maximum suspension for not having done his due diligence on the contaminated pill he took.
Jones tested positive for clomiphene and letrozole in an out-of-competition drug test administered by USADA in June which resulted in him being pulled from his UFC 200 main even bout against Daniel Cormier just days from the fight. He claimed that he did not purposefully take the substances but that a sexual-performance pill he took was contaminated. Depending on the degree of the athlete’s fault, sanctions in cases similar to his can range anywhere form a warning with no suspension time to an entire year of ineligibility.
The panel said that Jones was at a high degree of fault because “he made no enquiry at all about the Tadalafil pill” that he took and “simply relied upon his team mate to tell him what it was.” They claimed that the cases of Yoel Romero and Tim Means, who were given six-month suspensions for ingesting contaminated supplements, were not “the same or even similar to that of [Jones].”
The arbitration award was concluded with a statement saying that the panel did not believe that Jones was a “drug cheat” and that he genuinely did not know that the pill contained banned substances but “by his imprudent use of what he pungently referred to as “dick pill” he has not only lost a year of his career but an estimated nine million dollars.”
The UFC released a statement on the issue which can be read below.
UFC is aware of the one-year sanction levied against Jon Jones as a result of his UFC Anti-Doping Policy violation, decided by a three-person arbitration panel held on Monday, October 31, 2016. UFC has been advised that the one-year suspension commenced on Wednesday, July 6, 2016. While the decision indicates no evidence of Jones’ intentional use of banned substances, it does highlight the care and diligence that is required by athletes competing in the UFC to ensure that no prohibited substances enter their system.