Jon Jones will have to pay $205,000 in fines as well as wait until at least August to reapply for a license after his hearing before the California State Athletic Commission on Tuesday.
Jones appeared at the hearing after testing positive for the anabolic steroid Turinabol from a drug test administered on July 28, just one day prior to his knockout win over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214. That win was already overturned to a no contest by the California Commission.
The commission voted unanimously to fine Jones 40-percent of his total purse — $500,000 — plus an additional $5,000 levied as punishment. Jones also had his license revoked and he won’t be allowed to reapply for a new fight license until at least Aug. 28.
Of course, Jones still faces possible punishment from USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) and the commission deferred to them regarding any suspensions or sanctions that would go beyond that one-year period.
USADA could suspend Jones up to four years because his most recent positive test was the second violation of the UFC’s anti-doping policy after he was already suspended for a year in 2016 after testing positive for a different banned substance.
During the testimony, Jones’ team seemed to claim that they believed he was a victim of a contaminated supplement but unfortunately they were unable to provide any evidence that backed up those statements during the hearing.
“I did not do steroids. I swear to my heavenly father that I am not wrong. I swear on everything.” ~ Jon Jones
Jones did testify before the commission as well as answer questions while proclaiming his innocence several times.
“I’m very aware of my image and the perception of me. I’m working really hard to change it,” Jones said during his testimony. “I have no clue how this happened. I’m just trying to figure it out like everybody else.”
“I did not do steroids. I swear to my heavenly father that I am not wrong. I swear on everything.”
One exchange with commissioner Martha Shen-Urquidez may come back to haunt him with USADA, however, as Jones admitted before the commission that he never personally completed educational tutorials required by USADA and instead had his management team handle those for him. In addition to that admission, Jones said that his managers also forged his signatures on those forms that were sent to USADA.
Once the testimony was finished, California State Athletic Commission executive director Andy Foster spoke and said in his personal opinion he didn’t believe that Jones knowingly took steroids but added that the positive test doesn’t lie that it was in his system. Foster then gave his recommendation for the punishment from the commission, which was approved unanimously a few moments later.
I want to thank csac for taking the time and hearing my case, and executive officer Andy Foster for saying he believes me.
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) February 27, 2018
Jones will now await word from USADA to figure out when he will be eligible to compete again. There’s no exact timeline for USADA to reach a decision regarding Jones’ future, although his management team had previously stated that they hoped for a resolution by the end of March.
If Jones ultimately goes to arbitration with USADA as he’s allowed to do, an independent panel would decide his fate on any punishment that he would have to serve before returning to action. Jones chose to go to arbitration for his last doping infraction where he was hit with a one year suspension.
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