Count Jon Jones amongst those that was shocked when he was pulled from Saturday’s UFC 200 fight card due to a potential anti-doping violation stemming from a June 16 out-of-competition sample collection.
“It really hurts a lot. Supposedly they found something in one of my samples, I have no clue what it is. I can’t even pronounce it,” said Jones at a hastily assembled press conference Thursday morning, hinting at the possibility of a tainted supplement. “I’ve been taking the same majority of supplement my entire career.”
Although Jones was surprised and questioned what might have caused an adverse drug test result, he was also tearful and apologetic that it led to him being pulled from the UFC’s biggest fight card of the year, if not it’s history.
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“I want to start by apologizing to all the fans who came out to support me for UFC 200, obviously the UFC and the Fertittas (UFC owners) for not being able to perform. I know there’s a lot that’s gone into this event. Daniel Cormier, I want to apologize to Daniel Cormier. I just want to apologize to everyone, sincerely. I’m really sorry about this happening,” Jones said before having to leave the stage for a few minutes to collect himself.
While Jones and his manager, Malki Kawa, who also fielded questions at the Thursday morning press conference, wouldn’t divulge what Jones had tested positive for, they did confirm that it was a substance that triggered the potential anti-doping violation. As such, they are having Jones’ B sample tested.
When an athlete sample is collected, it is divided in two. That way, after the first, or A, sample is tested, a second test on the B sample can be conducted in order to verify or contradict the initial result.
Kawa was hopeful that the B sample might through the initial result into question, but he was also realistic about the chances of that happening. It’s rare.
“The chances of that coming back negative are very slim, but we’re hoping that might happen.”
If Jones is ultimately found guilty of violating the UFC Anti-Doping Policy as initial results indicate, he could face a two-year suspension. Fellow UFC fighters Tim Means and Yoel Romero recently received lesser sentences when it was shown that their positive test results stemmed from tainted supplements, so it’s not out of the question for Jones to receive similar treatment if a tainted supplement is ultimately to blame.
Even if Jones receives a two-year suspension, he doesn’t consider it a career death sentence.
“If I do have to sit for two years, I’ll definitely be back,” he said, struggling, but failing, to hold back tears. “At the end of the day, I’m a fighter. I’m a fighter. Even if I may seem broken right here, I’m not broken. I’m just really upset. I’ll find the good in this.”