UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has tested positive for benzoylecgonine, the main metabolite in cocaine, stemming from a Dec. 4 random drug test requested by the Nevada Athletic Commission in the lead-up to his UFC 182 bout with Daniel Cormier.
The news was first reported by Kevin Iole of MMAWeekly.com content partner Yahoo! Sports.
Benzoylecgonine is not banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency outside of competition. As such, Jones will not likely face any official sanctioning by the Nevada Athletic Commission, nor will the outcome of his victory over Cormier be altered.
Nevada Athletic Commission Executive Director Bob Bennett confirmed the test result to MMAWeekly.com, but noted that the NAC’s chairman and commissioners have yet to address the matter at a commission meeting.
Jones admitted having a problem in a statement that his attorney released to Yahoo! Sports.
“With the support of my family, I have entered into a drug treatment facility,” he said. “I want to apologize to my fiancée, my children, as well as my mother, father, and brothers for the mistake that I made. I also want to apologize to the UFC, my coaches, my sponsors and equally important to my fans.
“I am taking this treatment program very seriously. Therefore, at this time my family and I would appreciate privacy.”
The Ultimate Fighting Championship and company president Dana White issued separate statements a short time later, offering support for their champion.
“I am proud of Jon Jones for making the decision to enter a drug treatment facility,” White said. “I’m confident that he’ll emerge from this program like the champion he truly is.”
The UFC’s statement was similar:
“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.”