UFC light heavyweight Champion, Jon Jones, made a shocking announcement on Tuesday. In his announcement, he stated categorically that he has now gone into rehab. He announced this a few days after beating Daniel Cormier on Saturday at the major UFC 182 event, which raised some eyebrows about his victory.
The main fight was held in the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas. The fight lasted complete rounds, and finished with a final decision that Jones was the winner.
Jones has been considered the best fighter of all time, and uses mixed martial arts in his fights. The fact that he has fallen so far in the estimation of many UFC fans can’t have gone unnoticed. This has given betting sites in Australia food for thought as they reevaluate their odds now that the ‘unbeatable’ may be out of the game for a while.
A random drug test was actually carried out on Jones on December 4th, 2014. The test that was administered to Jones was scrutinised for peptide hormones, anabolic agents, beta-2 agonists, growth factor, stimulants, cannabinoids, glucocorticosteroids and narcotics. The test was carried out by the Nevada Athletic Commission and revealed that Jones had tested positive for benzoylecgonine. This is a component that is the main metabolite in cocaine. So sadly, the world has to admit that the fighter whose skills were said to be legendary had a little more help than other contestants.
The Nevada Athletic Commission works under the codes of the World Anti-Doping Agency. However, benzoylecgonine is not yet banned out of competition. For this reason, Jones was not banned from engaging in his UFC fights. He was also not penalized, even after he tested positive.
The Commission carried out a follow-up test some time later in December. This second test was carried out and showed that Jon Jones had passed. After the second test, Jones made a statement to Yahoo Sport, via his attorney, who acknowledged his problem.
The statement cited that, along with the support of Jones’ family, he has decided to enter a rehabilitation unit, which is a drug treatment facility. He apologised to his fiancÃ©e, his children, together with the parents, and his brothers. He stated that he was remorseful for the mistake that he had made and also apologised to the UFC, his sponsors, the coaches, and also to his fans.
He cited that he would take the treatment program extremely seriously. For that, he requested privacy for himself and his family and asked that the press respect this. It is yet to be seen whether the press will abide by his wishes.
The UFC Statement
In response to Jones’ statement, the UFC released a statement themselves, which talked about the situation. The UFC cited that they supported the decision of the light heavyweight winner to start a drug treatment program. They said that even though they were not impressed by the failed test of the champion, they congratulated him for deciding to get some help for his apparent problems. The UFC spoke of Jones as a strong and a bold fighter in the ring, and they expect that he will counter the drug issue in the same way. They commended Jones for the courageous decision that he made and expect him to come out better.
The chairman of the Nevada Commission, Francisco Aguilar cited that the commission was going to address the out-of-competition drug test when they meet next. They will then decide whether the WADA code will be broken if something similar happens in the future. The chairman also commended the decision of Jones in his statement but it remains to be seen whether the legions of fans he has will be so supportive.