Lucky Jon Jones Received 15-Month Ban From USADA, He Might Headline UFC 230

Despite Jon Jones Is A Repeated Offender, He Evaded Four-Year Ban Sentence!

Jon Jones has really gone through the hell since he was tested positive on Turinabol in 2017. Despite he defeated Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 on July 29, 2017, via attractive head kick, the fight was later overturned to no contest. Bones was stripped of the title.

Jon Jones also made few critical errors in the hearing. California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) revoked his license and fined him $205,000. But it looks like an arbitrator had a big heart in this case. He decided to provide Jon Jones with another chance. Bones received a 15-month ban, starting retroactively from July 28, 2017. So Bones can return on October 28, 2017. UFC 230 happens on November 3rd, so he could fight in the main event of it! (via MMAMania.com)

“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.”

Here are some key details from the USADA ruling. (via ufc.usada.org)

“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.”

Read carefully the section 10.6.1.1 of the UFC-USADA policy. It has probably saved Jon Jones this time.

“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.”

Shortly after the verdict, Jon Jones took to Twitter and clear 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

Dana White told ESPN that Jon Jones isn’t scheduled to fight in November at the moment. Here is the conversation between him and Brett Okamoto.

“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 wrote. “The science completely supports that finding. The science doesn’t lie so I look forward to getting him back early next year.”

Ariel Helwani also confirmed that Jon Jones is not slated for any fight in November.

On the other side, pros are mostly furious! But there are the ones who even support Jon Jones. Like Yoel Romero, for example!

https://twitter.com/EliasTheodorou/status/1042569078467002368

https://twitter.com/RazorBlaydes265/status/1042567602801795072

What are your thoughts on this? Are you surprised by the outcome? Were you expecting a stricter penalty? One thing is certain. After a catastrophic hearing, Jon Jones was more than lucky this time!

Chael Sonnen predicted Jon Jones could fight at the main event of UFC 230. Well, Sonnen could be right! We will see whether Jones will get this opportunity!

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