Jon Jones Receives 15-Month Suspension from USADA Following Positive Drug Test in 2017

Jon Jones will be cleared to return to action in about six weeks time after receiving a 15 month suspension from USADA following a positive drug test last year.

Jon Jones has received a 15-month suspension from USADA after an independent arbitrator ruled on his case following a positive drug test last July.

Jones will be eligible to fight after Oct. 28, 2018.

USADA officials released a statement on Wednesday revealing the result of his hearing that took place on Sept. 15.

According to USADA, Jones tested positive “4-chloro-18-nor-17?-hydroxymethyl,17?-methyl-5?-androst-13-en-3?-ol (M3), a metabolite of dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (DHCMT), or another chlorine-substituted anabolic steroid” which is banned at all times in athletes.

The independent arbitrator ultimately ruled for a reduced sanction while considering the circumstances surrounding Jones’ 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 outcome was the 15-month suspension that dates back to July 28, 2017 when the original drug test was taken.

“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,” USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart said in a statement.

“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.”

Jones previously had his license revoked while facing a $205,000 from the California State Athletic Commission as well as having his win over Daniel Cormier overturned to a no contest. The UFC also stripped Jones of his light heavyweight title after his win was overturned.

Richard H. McLaren, chief arbitrator from McLaren Global Sport Solutions, was the person in charge of the arbitration and ultimately handed down the decision on Jones.

The full arbitration notes can be found here.

The reduction in Jones’ sentence was also a result of him providing “substantial assistance to USADA or another anti-doping organization, criminal authority or professional disciplinary body which results in…bringing forward an anti-doping violation by another person”. In other words, Jones assisted USADA by revealing information about someone else committing a doping violation.

This is the second infraction of the UFC’s anti-doping policy after Jones was previously suspended for one year following a different failed drug test back in 2016. On that occasion, Jones was able to prove that his positive drug test came as the result of an off market sexual enhancement drug but he was still handed down with a 12-month suspension for his actions.

This time around, Jones faced a 15-month sanction that will come to an end on Oct. 28.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.
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