A handful of MMA fans smiled and shook their heads knowingly when Jon Jones rationalized Anderson Silva’s drug use yesterday.
During a Q&A Session, Jones said, “When you go through a situation like he’s gone through, there’s a lot of medical people that are gonna advise you to do this or that to heal yourself. I’ll never look at Anderson as a cheater. What he’s been able to accomplish throughout his career is just unbelievable. He’s still a guy I admire and look up to tremendously and I’m pulling for him to just get through all this and continue being the champion that he’s been.”
Jones clarified, however, that he isn’t totally into steroids. “I’ve never been a guy to condone steroids. I’ve had my own personal issues, but I do not condone steroids. I don’t really know the whole situation. I don’t believe he’s been doing it his whole career.” Of course, Jones tested positive for cocaine metabolites before UFC 182, and he’s had other issues now and then. Nonetheless, he’s not going to excuse anyone for steroid use.
And yet, he just did, explaining that a man shouldn’t be judged for taking performance enhancers as long as “medical people” are advising him to do so. Not exactly the hard stance the UFC is probably looking for from a champion. But it is at least honest, demonstrating what a farce drug prohibition has turned out to be in mixed martial arts competition, and how easy it is to justify as long as your pal with a medical degree is throwing a wink your way.