It’s now been over a year since it was revealed that Jon Jones tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in his light heavyweight championship rematch with Daniel Cormier at UFC 214, but there’s still been no word on a final verdict from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
Jones, the former light heavyweight champion, was stripped of the title and suspended indefinitely after testing positive for the anabolic steroid Turinabol. His win over Cormier was overturned to a No Contest (NC) and ‘DC’ was reinstated as the official champ.
Due to this being Jones’ second anti-doping violation, the former pound-for-pound great could be suspended for a maximum of four years.
However, rumors on social media started to circulate that Jones and his management had secretly paid off USADA to receive a reduced suspension. Controversial welterweight contender Colby Covington stirred up the headlines in July when he told Chael Sonnen that ‘Bones’ and his ‘scumbag management team’ could be trying to pay off the UFC or USADA.
“You never know. His scumbag management team, Malki Kawa and those guys, they’re probably trying to pay off the UFC or USADA somehow to get him back earlier,” Covington said on Sonnen’s You’re Welcome podcast. “You never know the UFC’s side, they want to do business and make money so if he’s available, and USADA clears him, then they’re gonna want to do business and put him back out there to fight and make that company money.”
“They’ve got a $4 billion installment on that loan to pay back, so they’re gonna do whatever it takes to make money and pay back that loan.”
USADA spokesperson Danielle Eurich also wanted to clarify that the anti-doping organization receives no payments ‘as part of the resolution of cases’, squashing the rumors that they had been paid off by Jones and his team.
“In relation to some media and social media comments we have observed, USADA wishes to clarify that under no circumstances do we receive payments as part of the resolution of cases,” Eurich told MMA Junkie in a recent statement.
Given that Jones’ anti-doping investigation started in August of last year, expect USADA to reach a verdict in the coming days or weeks.