Jon Jones: Proving My Innocence Is ‘Virtually Impossible’

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Jon Jones has been through ups and downs like no other mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter before him. Because of his controversial happenings, he believes it’s next to impossible to prove his innocence.

USADA maintains that Jones is innocent of his most recent drug-related issue. He tested positive for a small amount of turinabol, the anabolic steroid for which he’s just now coming off a 15-month suspension for. However, the UFC’s anti-doping partner insisted the ‘atypical finding’ was due to residual amounts and not new use. Despite them not sanctioning Jones, the NSAC would not license him for his UFC 232 return against Alexander Gustafsson.

The CSAC did, however, and UFC 232 will now go down this Saturday from The Forum in Inglewood, California. Jones spent a small amount of time apologizing to fans and fighters for the confusion but is now shifting his focus back to regaining his title. He believes he can’t really prove his innocence anyway, because his past transgressions continue to follow him around. “Bones” told ESPN he doesn’t have time to change people’s minds on short notice:

“I think my trying to prove any type of innocence is going to be virtually impossible before the fight, because of the controversial image I have. People are kind of set in what they’re going to believe. I can’t win over many minds before the fight.”

Scicentists Don’t Know

Jones may be right about that, at least in some sense. But his past incidents involving both performance-enhancing and recreational drugs give him an extremely short leash in the eyes of most, and that’s something he has to live with. His current situation is a strange one, one that he claims even scientists don’t know much about. With that said, he maintained that he never knowingly put turinabol in his system:

“Even the scientists that found it, don’t know much about it,” said Jones, on the metabolite in his system. “I’m hearing reports this s— could live in my system for seven years. I’ve learned to say, ‘You know what Jon? You know in your heart you did nothing wrong.’ If I took another polygraph test and answered the question, ‘Have you ever knowingly put this in your system?’ I could confidently say, ‘No, I never knowingly put this in my system.’ And it would be a true statement.”

So due to public opinion, Jones believes he’s now the victim of ‘ignorance’ and fans who don’t do their homework in researching his situation. He claims he has to ‘surrender to all that ignorance and remain confident in knowing he did nothing wrong:

“I just have to surrender to people’s opinions, I gotta surrender to the ignorance our sport is surrounded by. I gotta surrender to the fact most people will never pick up a book and do homework for themselves, I gotta surrender to it all and say, ‘Listen Jon, you’ve had a controversial career. You’re fun for people to pick at. You’re fun for people to talk about. If you are part of anything that’s not positive, it’s going to be huge news.’

“I have to be 100 percent confident in knowing I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Ignorant Or Realistic?

Perhaps Jones did nothing wrong in this instance. But he’s right in stating that he will always be pre-judged when anything involving drugs come up. To assume people will go to great lengths to find out if he’s innocent would be quite the foolhardy errand at this point.

His latest comeback is set to go down in two days despite another PED-related controversy, and all he can do to prove his doubters wrong is stay clean and fight consistently. Fans’ doubts that he can may be rooted in ‘ignorance’ in his mind, but the fact remains he hasn’t been a model of consistency over the past four years. Quite the opposite, in fact.