Jon Jones knows that cheating accusations are probably going to follow him for the rest of his career but he believes the science behind drug testing will eventually exonerate him.
During the UFC 232 pre-fight press conference on Thursday in Los Angeles, Jones was asked about people who will call him cheater no matter how many times USADA or UFC vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky claim his performance wasn’t enhanced by the substances found in his body.
The latest instance found Jones testing positive for Turinabol — the same drug that was found in his body last July — but the UFC and USADA have said that they believe it’s just a residual effect from the previous doping incident and not a new ingestion of the drug.
“I am in an interesting spot in the UFC. I feel like I am a polarizing athlete. It’s just going to follow me. It’s going to follow me,” Jones said about the cheating accusations. “The way I deal with that is by waiting for USADA and now VADA to continue doing their research with what’s going on in my body and I think through their study, I’ll be vindicated.
“Just continue to stay on the right path and do the right things and focus on the things I can control.”
Unfortunately the science behind Jones’ latest positive test is still cloudy at best but the UFC and USADA have quoted ‘experts’ as saying it’s most likely a ‘pulsing’ effect from the previous time that Turinabol was found in his body.
For what it’s worth, there’s no published, peer reviewed study to back up or refute the claims from the UFC or USADA.
Add to that, there’s still no definitive answer as to how the banned substance got into Jones’ body last year much less how it’s still in his system 18 months later, but the former light heavyweight champion believes over time the explanation will become clear.
“I think through science I will be vindicated,” Jones stated. “I’ve passed the polygram test with pretty much the FBI, which means if I was lying, I’d go to jail for perjury. I passed a polygraph test saying that I’ve never intentionally taken anything illegal to enhance myself and now the science is starting to show itself, you will realize, half the people that are judging me haven’t opened a chemistry book since high school. It’s true. It’s so true.
“People are ignoring the fact that this s—t is so small it almost should have never been brought up. It’s so small. It’s such a small amount, it has no effect. I think a lot of professionals whether it’s the USADA or the UFC are realizing dude Jon is actually like a guinea pig in this situation, almost wronged in this situation. Even though I was in me, I think this is a way of fixing a wrong and making it right again by not cancelling this fight.”
Jones did take a private lie detector test after his initial positive test for Turinabol in 2017 but it wasn’t administered by the FBI or any Federal agency much less in a courtroom setting where he could be charged with perjury.
Regardless, Jones maintains his innocence from ever knowingly cheating the system and that’s part of the reason why he’s doesn’t buy the idea that there are asterisks next to his career accomplishments.
In fact, Jones feels like he might actually be the victim in everything that’s happened because of the questions surrounding his latest positive drug test and the lack of definitive answers from the experts involved.
“There will always be asterisks. There’s asterisks next to who is pound-for-pound the greatest of all time. In my mind, there is no asterisks,” Jones said. “I was afraid of there being asterisks next to my career when I was uneducated but as I’m learning — even though I still can’t say picogram or whatever — as I’m learning what this really is I’m almost mad that it was even mentioned. It’s invisible. You can’t take a picogram. It’s that small. You can’t knowingly take it. That’s how small it is.
“So I have completely set myself free. I listen to fighters from the past say ‘this is why he beat me because he had this in him’ and I get why they need to do that, to feel better, to feel like I can do it the second time. I get why they’re doing that but I’ve taking off the asterisks next to what I’ve done. I know what I’ve done. Every push up, every sit up, freaking showing up to practice early, leaving there late, wrestling camps since I was 12 years old, endless tournaments, I know what I’ve done.”
Jones hopes to put everything in the past with his performance on Saturday night against Alexander Gustafsson and then get back to the business of being the best fighter on the planet.
“After beating Gustafsson I’m going to be right back on the track I’ve always been on, which is being one of the all-time greats,” Jones said. “And I know that in my heart no matter who believes me or not.”