Jon Jones' 'B' sample comes back positive from failed drug test at UFC 214
UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping believes Jones should be banned from the sport
While UFC and the United States Anti-Doping Policy continue to provide Jon Jones due process following a positive drug test at UFC 214, the case for the light heavyweight champion's innocence appears to have taken a step backward.
A spokesperson for USADA confirmed the presence of the banned substance Turinabol, an anabolic steroid, in Jones' "B" sample. ESPN was first to report the finding Tuesday. Jones failed an in-competition test taken after the weigh-in on July 28 in Anaheim, California, one day before his knockout of Daniel Cormier in their title rematch.
"Mr. Jones 'B' sample has confirmed the 'A' sample findings," a USADA spokesperson said in a statement. "Importantly -- as previously stated -- due process should occur before drawing any conclusions about this matter."
The status of Jones, 30, as the greatest fighter in mixed martial arts history has taken a serious hit following his second failed test in one year. Jones (23-1) tested positive for banned substances clomiphene and Letrozol ahead of UFC 200 in July 2016 and was pulled from the card days before. His one-year suspension from USADA concluded just in time for his UFC 214 return.
As a repeat offender, Jones could face up to a four-year suspension. The fighter has denied knowingly taking the substance and his team has vowed to investigate how the steroid entered his system, claiming a tainted supplement might have been to blame.
Jones, who has twice been stripped of UFC titles in the past for disciplinary reasons, has yet to be stripped a third time. His win over Cormier, however, likely will be changed to a no contest.
Although Jones passed a drug test taken from blood after the fight, Turinabol is not screened for by USADA in blood tests. Jones' positive test on July 28 came in the form of a urine sample. The California State Athletic Commission announced Jones passed multiple drug tests leading up to fight week.
UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping told Sports Illustrated on Tuesday that Jones should no longer be allowed to compete.
"If you have a history of taking performance-enhancing drugs, there's no place for it," Bisping said. "This is a vicious sport. It's not for everybody. We're not trying to put a ball into a basket, we're trying to — you can dress it up however you want -- we're trying to beat our opponents, either into submission or knock them out. Performance-enhancing drugs have no place in this sport."
A Yahoo! Sports report late Tuesday revealed the latest development could potentially help Jones' case because his 'B' sample came back positive for a metabolite of Turinabol, but not the parent compound itself. The metabolite M3 can be detected in your system for 45 to 60 days while the parent compound only has a half-life of 16 hours, meaning it leaves your body in less than a day.
This distinction could help Jones' argument that the drug may have been ingested via a tainted supplement.
"On the face of things, any sophisticated doper, or any doper who knows how to do a Google search is not going to choose Turinabol or any other chlorinated steroid," UFC's vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky said. "They could very easily find that there is a detection window of 45 to 60 days and so with the facts that are out there, that Jon tested negative on July 6 and July 7, that means the substance entered his body between July 7 and July 28.
"Any sophisticated user, or anyone who does a Google search, will see it could be potentially two months in your system. Thus, it would not be a drug of choice if you had any level of sophistication."
Novitzky continued to echo USADA's request for patience in Jones' case and insisted there is a long road ahead, which could include appeals and arbitration.
"I would very much encourage everybody, despite where we're at in this with the B-sample being confirmed, I would encourage the media, I would encourage Jon's fans, I would encourage those who aren't fans of Jon's, to let this process play out," Novitzky told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday. "We've seen many different things happen here, where there are varying degrees of responsibility. His team is working hard on it. We're working hard. USADA's working hard.
"Everybody wants the same thing, to figure out how this happened. Please, before anyone jumps to conclusions about Jon, let this process play out."
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