Jon Jones tested positive for steroids for his July 29 fight against Daniel Cormier, TMZ Sports reports.
Jon Jones faces a win over his rival morphing into a no-contest, a possible four-year suspension, and the loss of his light-heavyweight title. Perhaps more significantly, the tainted sample forever taints the legacy of the 23-1 (for now) fighter boasting wins over such UFC champions as Cormier, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Lyoto Machida, Vitor Belfort, Rashad Evans, and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. His only loss came in a controversial disqualification due to illegal elbows in a fight that he dominated.
The drug Jones allegedly used, Turinabol, is a steroid once favored by East German Olympians. The drug, essentially testosterone mixed with other compounds, increases power without adding enormous amounts of muscle mass. Significantly for a cage fighter, it helps muscle endurance by facilitating red blood cells that bring oxygen to taxed muscles. Frank Mir currently serves a two-year suspension for popping positive for the same drug.
The New York Times reported last year, in the wake of a trio of baseball players suspended for use of the drug, that “Turinabol has shown up in supplements sold in the United States means some athletes may have unwittingly taken the drug. To be safe, Canadian authorities have warned their Olympic athletes to stay away from supplements sold in the United States, said Dr. Bob McCormack, the chief medical officer of the Canadian Olympic team.” So, it’s possible Jones unwittingly took the drug by taking an over-the-counter supplement.
The alleged dirty sample marks the third drug-related offense for Jones, who popped positive for cocaine in an out-of-competition test prior to his first fight with Daniel Cormier and failed another out-of-competition test for steroids in the leadup to a scheduled UFC 200 rematch with Cormier. Jones, perhaps the greatest fighter in the short history of mixed-martial arts, also pled guilty to a felony relating to a 2015 hit-and-run accident in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
After earning a unanimous decision in a competitive first fight with Daniel Cormier, Jones landed a headkick knockout in the third round of his return engagement with his bitter rival on July 29. Like the first bout, the second scrap played out as a competitive affair until Jones landed the brutal kick.
With Cormier left crying after both bouts, it appeared as though Jones managed to get inside his opponent’s head. Now it looks as though Cormier made Jones lose his head before he made Cormier lose consciousness.
The inevitable suspension that follows failed drugs tests makes it likely that the UFC loses one of its major cash cows for years to come. A no-contest restores the title to Cormier, who faces a possible rematch with Alexander Gustafsson or a bout with the 15-1 Volkan Oezdemir instead of calls for retirement or a move back to heavyweight.