Jon Jones Slapped with $205,000 Fine, License Revocation by California Commission
Jon Jones was hit with a $205,000 fine and had his fight license revoked on Tuesday in a hearing with the California State Athletic Commission after testing positive for steroids on July 28, 2017.
Jones has to pay 40-percent of his $500,000 purse for UFC 214 — plus the license revocation in California. Jones could technically reapply for another license in California as early as Aug. 28 but the commission deferred to USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency), who could still hand down a lengthy suspension based on the positive drug test.
Jones faces a potential suspension up to four years from USADA after a second violation of the UFC’s anti-doping policy.
The hearing dealt with Jones’ positive drug test for Turinabol, an anabolic steroid, from a test administered on July 28 — one day prior to his knockout win over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214. That decision was already overturned to a no contest.
Jones was flanked by his attorney Howard Jacobs as well as his manager Malki Kawa at the hearing.
Daniel Eichner, who is the executive director of the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory, which is the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) accredited lab in Utah and Paul Scott, president of Scott Analytics, gave testimony about the positive drug test that returned for Turinabol.
Scott was the same anti-doping expert called by attorney Howard Jacobs when Anderson Silva tested positive for a banned substance back in 2015. He received heavy criticism from the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his testimony after providing little evidence during his testimony.
Based on the statements given from his attorney and the expert witness, Jones’ team appeared to be claiming that a contaminated supplement could have been to blame for the positive drug test yet they couldn’t provide any evidence to prove that from the supplements taken by the former light heavyweight champion prior to his fight.
Jones testified before the commission where he answered questions for more than 30 minutes while proclaiming his innocence several times.
“I’m very aware of my image and the perception of me. I’m working really hard to change it,” Jones said during his testimony. “I have no clue how this happened. I’m just trying to figure it out like everybody else.”
“I did not do steroids. I swear to my heavenly father that I am not wrong. I swear on everything.”
While Jones maintained his innocence, Commissioner Martha Shen-Urquidez questioned him repeatedly about his past doping violation from 2016 that ended with a one year suspension from USADA as well as his previous legal issues including a hit and run accident in 2015.
During the questioning from Shen-Urquidez, Jones also admitted that he never personally completed USADA tutorials that were required of him as a UFC athlete. Instead, Jones stated that his management team handled all of that while also forging his signature on documents returned to USADA.
Following a long line of questioning, California State Athletic Commission executive director Andy Foster offered his opinion that he believed Jones never knowingly took the banned substance but the test results still came back positive for Turinabol and that’s not disputed.
I want to thank csac for taking the time and hearing my case, and executive officer Andy Foster for saying he believes me.
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) February 27, 2018
With testimony going for nearly three hours, Foster finally offered his recommendation for punishment, which was for license revocation and 40-percent of Jones’ purse for his fight at UFC 214, which was $500,000. Foster also recommended two more $2,500 fines including one for being a detriment to the sport of mixed martial arts.
The commission voted unanimously to approve the sanctions.
While Jones could technically re-apply for another license in California as early as August, the commission deferred to USADA’s decision regarding the matter because they still have the ability to issue additional sanctions against the former champion.
Jones may go to arbitration with USADA where an independent panel would ultimately render a verdict on any potential suspension that he would face as a result of the doping violation.