Former multi-time UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones was notified of a potential violation by USADA shortly after UFC 214.
Despite a potential second drug testing violation, UFC VP Of Athlete Health & Performance Jeff Novitzky doesn’t think the former champion intentionally took illegal substances.
“It would not make a lot of sense for an individual, a UFC athlete, especially a championship contender like Jon Jones who knew, ‘I’m tested quite regularly in this program’ – it would not make a lot of sense that that would be your drug of choice if you’re trying to cheat,” Novitzky said on The Joe Rogan Experience. “I think it’s come out after the fact that USADA did another test on Jon a month or two months after his positive test, and he was negative. So that would be indicative that the prohibited substance entered his system sometime after July 7th or 8th, and that was likely a pretty small amount and that cleared his system pretty quickly. Again, who knows where it plays out? But on the surface of things, at this point in the game with that type of information out there, it wouldn’t indicate intentional use. That could be wrong. I don’t know that definitively, and we’ll see how this plays out.”
A punishment has yet to be given to Jones for the potential violation, but he could be facing a four year suspension.
If Jones didn’t intentionally take the illegal substances, a four year suspension would be harsh in Novitzky’s eyes.
“I don’t necessarily think that we put up a four-year sanction for a second-term offense when the first-term offense was shown that that person didn’t cheat intentionally – just operated with careless disregard,” says Novitzky.
Jones was stripped of the UFC Light Heavyweight Title a short time after the potential violation was announced, which was the only penalty he has suffered at this time.