Jon Jones Releases First Statement After USADA Hands Down 15-Month Suspension

Jon Jones is nearly ready to resume his career after USADA issued a 15-month suspension that will allow him to return to action after Oct. 28

Jon Jones is ready to mount his comeback.

The news was revealed on Wednesday that an independent arbitrator handed down a 15-month suspension after Jones tested positive for an anabolic steroid last year and now the former light heavyweight champion will be eligible to return after Oct. 28.

Following the news, Jones released his first statement on the situation while obviously excited that he’ll be allowed to resume his career in about six weeks time.

“It’s difficult to express myself at this moment but I can definitely say my heart is filled with gratitude and appreciation,” Jones wrote on Instagram. “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.”

The reduction in Jones’ sentence came as a result of the independent arbitrator believing that the former champion never intentionally cheated. Jones also acted as a confidential informant by giving up somebody else who may have been committing a doping violation that initially had USADA offering him a 30 month reduction in his sentence.

Ultimately the independent arbitrator opted for a 15-month suspension, which means Jones will be able to return at the end of the October.

Jones appears ready to get back in action sooner rather than later, although UFC president Dana White claimed in a statement to ESPN that he doesn’t anticipate the former champion returning before early 2019.

With a main event still needed at UFC 230 on Nov. 3 as well as two more pay-per-view cards in December, it seems unlikely that Jones wouldn’t at least be considered to headline one of those shows.

Jones has a plethora of potential opponents and it looks like he hopes to get back his light heavyweight title sooner rather than later.

 

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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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