Arbitrators working with USADA and Jon Jones have finally reached a verdict over the fighter’s failed drug test leading up to UFC 200, suspending him from competing for one year. As the ban was effectively in place since Jones was taken off the card once his test results came back, he’ll be eligible to compete again in July of 2017.
This is the first time since USADA drug testing has come into effect that a fighter has taken a failed drug test to arbitration. In the past, other athletes have successfully had their suspensions halved dealing directly with USADA. But according to arbitrators, Jones was ‘reckless’ in his use of a sexual aid medication given to him by a teammate that turned out to contain clomiphene and letrozol. While the USADA arbitrators confirmed the failed drug test was caused by the sexual aid, they also said Jones was ultimately responsible for making sure any drugs he took were properly vetted.
This isn’t the first time a UFC fighter has been suspended over mysterious boner pills. Anderson Silva was served a one year suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission after a positive test he claimed was caused by a sexual performance pill, and Brock Lesnar is rumored to have investigated his own use of similar medication. So that’s got us asking: why the heck are all these UFC fighters taking erection medication like candy?
The results of the arbitration is a mixed bag for Jones. While he still received the full one year suspension he was facing before forcing the situation into arbitration, he was at least able to get it on the record that he didn’t knowingly take steroids. That’s a big black mark off his record … for those who are inclined to believe the arbitrator’s conclusions.
As good as it is to know USADA will cut fighters some slack if they can prove they accidentally took a tainted medication, that gives actual cheaters a convenient out should they legitimately get caught. Was Jon Jones really taking mystery sexual aids given to him by someone in his gym? Or is this all just the lie they had prepared should his doping come to light?