Much like his bosses at the UFC, Jon Jones’ new sponsor, Reebok, is standing behind him, issuing a statement of support after it was revealed that Jones tested positive for the cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine in early December, but recently checked into a drug rehabilitation center.
“We commend Jon for taking the necessary steps to address this issue, and we will support him in any way we can,” Reebok announced in a statement on Tuesday. “The status of Jon’s relationship with Reebok has not changed.”
UFC president Dana White’s message read much the same, saying, “I am proud of Jon Jones for making the decision to enter a drug treatment facility. I’m confident that he’ll emerge from this program like the champion he truly is.”
While the UFC said, “We support UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones’ decision to enter a drug treatment facility to address his recent issue. While we are disappointed in the failed test, we applaud him for making this decision to enter a drug treatment facility. Jon is a strong, courageous fighter inside the Octagon, and we expect him to fight this issue with the same poise and diligence. We commend him on his decision, and look forward to him emerging from this program a better man as a result.”
The fallout from the failed test and Jones revealing that he has entered a drug treatment program has been scattered. Many people, much like Reebok and the UFC, commended Jones for admitting he has a problem and voluntarily checking into a rehab program, while other harshly condemned the UFC and the Nevada Athletic Commission for not revealing the result prior to Jones’ recent bout with Daniel Cormier.
While it appears that Jones is unlikely to receive any punishment that alters the outcome of the fight with Cormier or effects his standing as champion, the Nevada Commission is likely to take a long hard look at why Jones was administered a test for recreational substances – which the World Anti-Doping Association standard doesn’t recognize as actionable when done during an out-of-competition period – and it and the promotion’s handling of the fallout from the test.