Jon Jones suspended 1 year by USADA

Published on Monday, 11/7/16, at 3:45 p.m. Eastern.

Former light heavyweight champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones was issued a one-year suspension from USADA earlier today. The suspension is retroactive to July 6, so Jones will be to return to the Octagon in July of 2017.

Jones tested positive for a banned substance just days before his long-awaited rematch against current 205-pound kingpin Daniel Cormier. With Jones out, Cormier defeated Anderson Silva by unanimous decision after ‘The Spider’ took the bout on just two days of notice.

Jones and his lawyer attended an arbitration hearing in Los Angeles last Monday (10/31), hoping to convince the arbitrators that he was unaware of taking a banned substance that had been tainted. Nevertheless, he was still given a one-year suspension.

“On the evidence before the Panel, the Applicant is not a drug cheat,” the arbitrators wrote in their epilogue. “He did not know that the tablet he took contained prohibited substances or that those substances had the capacity to enhance sporting performance. However by his imprudent use of what he pungently referred to as a ‘dick pill’ he has not only lost a year of his career but an estimated nine million dollars. This outcome which he admits to be a wake-up call for him should serve as a warning to all others who participate in the same sport.”

Cormier is set to take on Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson at UFC 206 in Toronto on Dec. 10. Most spots have Cormier as a -145 ‘chalk,’ while Johnson is +115 on the comeback (risk $100 to win $115). The ‘over/under’ is 1.5 rounds (‘over’ -185, ‘under’ +160). The winner will presumably face Jones in July unless the winner wants to take another fight before that.

Shortly after the ruling, Jones released the following statement:

“Although I was hopeful for a better outcome in the USADA ruling today,  I am very respectful of the process in which they allowed me to defend myself. I have always maintained my innocence and I am very happy I have been cleared in any wrong doing pursuant to the allegations made that I had intentionally  taken a banned substance. I am pleased that in USADA’s investigation they determined I was “not a cheater of the sport”. Being cleared of these allegations was very important to me. I have worked hard in and outside of the octagon to regain my image and my fighting career and will take these next eight months to continue my training and personal growth both as a man and a athlete. Thank you to all of my fans, teammates, coaches, sponsors  and to the UFC for their continued support.”

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