The next step to finding in Jon Jones’ latest drug-related trouble is set.
The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) listed on their official agenda (via MMA Fighting) that Jones will attend a hearing on February 27 for his in-competition failure for anabolic steroid Turinabol the day before his UFC 214 win over current champion Daniel Cormier. The win, which was originally a third-round KO via head kick, was overturned to a no contest.
At the time, the win put Jones as most fans and media members’ number-one choice for the greatest MMA fighter of all-time, but as has been the case for years, problems involving drugs and alcohol interfered with Jones’ illustrious fighting accomplishments. He’s expected to be handed a suspension and fine for his current case with the CSAC, his second anti-doping violation after he tested positive for clomiphene and Letrozol before his scheduled rematch with Cormier at 2016’s UFC 200.
Those performance-enhancing drug-related issues joined his prior drunk driving arrest in 2012 and failure for cocaine in 2015, not to mention his Albuquerque hit-and-run that left a young pregnant woman with a broken arm in April 2015. If it’s starting to sound exhausting; you’re right – it definitely is, and it’s only magnified by the fact Jones would otherwise be the greatest fighter in the history of MMA if not for drugs.
Jones faces a possible four-year suspension for his latest infraction due to it being his second offense; he received a one-year suspension following arbitration with USADA for his UFC 200 failure after USADA didn’t necessarily buy his sexual-enhancement pill defense. His manager seems to think that if USADA is ‘a respectable organization,’ and does their due diligence, then there’s a “95 percent chance” Jones will fight in the UFC in 2018.
For what it’s worth, UFC Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky recently admitted there are some strange timelines in the failure after Jones passed all previous tests for the bout. He took and passed his own polygraph test as well.
While the promotion would most likely like that, it’s now up to the CSAC. It should also be noted that Jones will also undergo another arbitration with USADA in addition to the CSAC hearing.
So the latest chapter in the sad saga of “Bones” has a date, and it’s once again up in the air as to when or if the MMA great will return. Does he deserve another chance to fight in the Octagon?