UFC Light Heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones faces the first of two punishments over his positive drug test from July 2017 today. The California state athletic commission (CSAC) regulated his bout against Daniel Cormier at UFC 214, a fight which Jon won but was later overturned to a no-contest due to the United States anti-doping agency (USADA) finding a metabolite of banned anabolic steroid Turinabol in his urine.
Today, we find out what punishment the CSAC is going to hand out to Jones, which could include a suspension and a significant fine of up to 40% of his $500,000 purse. It’s important to note that Jones still faces another, likely longer, suspension from USADA for the same offence.
Both the California and USADA suspensions will be entered into the Association of Boxing Commissions’ (ABC) database, and all athletic commissions in North America are likely to honor both suspensions.
This hearing, beginning at 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific and streamed live courtesy of MMAFighting.com, could give us some insight into what defense Jones’ team are likely to have presented to USADA, but the result today won’t affect the punishment USADA give Jones for the same offence. Jones’ manager, Malki Kawa, has stated that he assumes the USADA punishment will be known by the end of March.
Jones previously received a one year suspension for his failed drug test prior to UFC 200. The full suspension for those substances, was handed out after Jones elected to take his case with USADA to the UFC’s arbitration service. The arbitration panel on that occasion stated:
“On the evidence before the Panel, the Applicant is not a drug cheat. He did not know that the tablet he took contained prohibited substances or that those substances had the capacity to enhance sporting performance.”
However, Jones still received full punishment on that previous occasion due to his failure to perform the expected due diligence, with his behavior being described as verging on “reckless.” That previous sanction means the suspension Jones receives from USADA will be longer than if this was his first offence (per section 10.7 of the UFC’s policy), and it may affect the CSAC’s decision here today, as well.
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