Jon Jones Escapes Four-Year Suspension From USADA, Eligible To Return Late October

Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones Cleared To Return From Suspension

UFC star Jon Jones who failed his second drug test last year administered by USADA following his bout against Daniel Cormier at UFC 214, finally has been given his suspension.

On Wednesday, according to MMAFighting, Jones receives 15-months of suspension from the arbitrator, the ban is retroactive to when the positive sample was collected, that was July of 2017. Hence, Jones will be eligible to return to competition on Oct. 28.

As per the report, ‘Bones’ was potentially facing a four-year ban due to UFC second anti-doping violation, but cooperated with USADA and passed multiple out-of-competition drug tests that led to a reduction in his suspension to 15 months by the arbitrator, which was a further decrease for a discussed 30-month penalty.

Jones, has maintained his innocence that he did not take any PEDs around the time of the test, but he did admit to ingesting prohibited drugs, including cocaine, before and during the time of a test, July 28, 2017.

Following are the key details from USADA’s independent attribution ruling about Jones case and reduction in his ban:

Jones, 31, tested positive for a prohibited substance as result of a sample collected during the in-competition testing period on July 28, 2017, before his bout at UFC 214 in Anaheim, Calif., an event sanctioned by the California Athletic Commission. Jones’ sample contained 4-chloro-18-nor-17β-hydroxymethyl,17α-methyl-5α-androst-13-en-3α-ol (M3), a metabolite of dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (DHCMT), or another chlorine-substituted anabolic steroid. Chlorine-substituted anabolic steroids, including DHCMT, are non-Specified Substances in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.

Prior to the hearing, USADA determined that a 30-month reduction in the otherwise applicable period of ineligibility was appropriate under the rules based on Jones’ delivery of substantial assistance. Evidence related to Jones’ substantial assistance was presented at the hearing and considered by the arbitrator.

The sanction was further reduced by the arbitrator based on Jones’ reduced degree of fault and the circumstances of the case, including the fact that Jones had been tested on multiple occasions leading up to UFC 214, and as recently as three weeks prior to the event, all of which yielded negative results for prohibited substances.

“The independent arbitrator found that Jon Jones was not intentionally cheating in this case, and while we thought 18-months was the appropriate sanction given the other circumstances of the case, we respect the arbitrator’s decision and believe that justice was served,” said USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart. “This case is another strong reminder that athletes need to be extremely cautious about the products and supplements they use to ensure they are free of prohibited substances.”

If you note this line “Jones’ delivery of substantial assistance” tells that Jones went on snitch way to get reduced USADA suspension.

USADA in its sole discretion may suspend all or part of the period of Ineligibility and other Consequences imposed in an individual case in which it has results management authority where the Athlete or other Person has provided Substantial Assistance to USADA or another Anti-Doping Organization, criminal authority or professional disciplinary body which results in: (i) USADA or another Anti-Doping Organization discovering or bringing forward an Anti-Doping Policy Violation by another Person and the information provided by the Person providing Substantial Assistance is made available to USADA, or (ii) which results in a criminal or disciplinary body discovering or bringing forward a criminal offense or the breach of professional rules committed by another Person and the information provided by the Person providing Substantial Assistance is made available to USADA. The extent to which the otherwise applicable period of Ineligibility and other Consequences imposed may be suspended shall be based on the seriousness of the Anti-Doping Policy Violation committed by the Athlete or other Person and the significance of the Substantial Assistance provided by the Athlete or other Person to the effort to eliminate doping in sport. If the Athlete or other Person fails to continue to cooperate and to provide the complete and credible Substantial Assistance upon which a suspension of the period of Ineligibility or other Consequences was based, USADA shall reinstate the original period of Ineligibility and other Consequences.

As per attribution agreement, Jones will enter into a full-time rehabilitation program.

“Jon Jones has gone through a great deal of difficulties,” said arbitrator Richard H. McLaren. “He gave me the very distinct impression that he has learned a lot from the loss of the image of himself that he had as a champion MMA fighter. He has been humbled and humiliated by the experience but has learned from his misfortune. He needs the opportunity to regain his dignity and self-esteem.”

Despite this period, ‘Bones’ maintained his innocence, though it fell on deaf ears when it came to (CSAC), as the governing athletic body revoked his license fined him a whopping $205,000.

No doubt, Jones’ out of the cage troubles with illicit drugs are well-documented, but it seems ‘Bones’ is conceivably finally settled to turn his life, and career, around. Most recently Jones along with his manager Malki Kawa visited the UFC headquarters alongside, teased fight fans that good news is coming.

Fight fans have been asking for weeks now that who’ll take compete in the main headliner of upcoming UFC 230 pay-per-view (PPV) which is set to take place on Nov. 3, 2018, from Madison Square Garden New York, N.Y.

Jones who happens to be from ‘The Empire State’ and is eligible to compete in this card.

Following the report of former champion’s suspension, though, UFC head honcho Dana White releases statement potentially turn down the notion Jones could return on the UFC 230 card — or on any card left for this year.

“The arbitrator found that Jones never intentionally or knowingly took steroids, and the result of the positive test was the result of a contaminated substance,” White said. “The science completely supports that finding. The science doesn’t lie, so I look forward to getting him back early next year.”

UFC 229 press conference is set to go down Thursday, Sep, 20 many eyes set on it because it is featuring the first staredown between former two-division champion Conor McGregor and undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov. It’s highly likely we’ll get some clarification on Jones return.

Shortly after the verdict, Jones took to social media to declare his comeback intentions.

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.

Upon Jones return, who should he lock horns against?

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