An arbitrator issued a 15-month sentence to former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in his U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) case, MMA Fighting’s Marc Raimondi reported Wednesday. UFC star Jon Jones will be eligible to return to competition by Oct. 28, fifteen months after failing the second drug test at UFC 214 in his fight against Daniel Cormier. Jon Jones’s samples had tested positive for Turinabol, a banned substance.
The decision by an arbitrator means the 31-year-old Jones could even fight at UFC 230 in New York on Nov. 3, if the UFC decides to book his comeback bout on that card.
Jones was facing a four-year ban because this was his second UFC anti-doping policy violation. But USADA arbitrator found that Jones’s steroid use was unintentional, and hit Jones with a 15-month suspension instead.
“The independent arbitrator found that Jon Jones was not intentionally cheating in this case, and while we thought 18-months was the appropriate sanction given the other circumstances of the case, we respect the arbitrator’s decision and believe that justice was served,” said USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart. “This case is another strong reminder that athletes need to be extremely cautious about the products and supplements they use to ensure they are free of prohibited substances.”
Here’s the full USADA announcement. Jones quietly went to arbitration last week, and in my opinion, he came away with a big victory. pic.twitter.com/2BjRAGPTFN
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) September 19, 2018
Jones tested positive for cocaine use in 2015, later he publicly acknowledged that he used the drug.