Former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was scheduled to rematch current titleholder Daniel Cormier at UFC 200 in July 2016, but was removed from the fight and stripped of the interim title after testing positive to banned substances during an out-of-competition test. Those substances were Clomiphene, an anti-estrogen agent, as well as Letrozole, an aromatase inhibitor.
Jones was given a year-long suspension by USADA and the Nevada State Athletic Commission. He’ll be able to return to the Octagon this July. He maintains that he never cheated.
“I have never cheated in this sport. Every once of my success has been hard work, dedication, focus, and a lot of God’s grace. I’ve never cheated in this sport,” he said during a recent press conference in Buffalo, N.Y. “Had I cheated there would have been a much more strict punishment. I got the minimum because I was proven innocent.”
Innocent may be a bit misleading. Jones did fail an out-of-competition drug test, but didn’t test positive to performance enhancing substances. He claims that the substances were unknowingly ingested when he took a “sex pill.”
“What USADA told me was that I am guilty of not going through the proper steps to prevent the whole situation from happening. That was the only thing that I was guilty of,” said Jones.
“I had that estrogen blocker in my system. There was never any steroids ever found in my system. My testosterone levels have never fluctuated. If someone wants to call me a steroid user, that is 1,000-percent false. Steroids have never been found in my system. I was guilty of having an estrogen blocker in my system and we found the exact pill that the estrogen blockers came from. USADA themselves tested the pills, and they found that it was a tainted supplement. These are 1,000-percent facts.”
Jones isn’t worried about the accusation of being a cheater following him for the rest of his career. He doesn’t think he cheated.
“I don’t feel like I’ll be labeled as being a steroid user throughout my career because, quite frankly, I’ve never had steroids in my system,” he said. “I have guilty of having an estrogen blocker in my system, which is not performance enhancing at all.”