In addition to the changes in the main fights of UFC 294, a major surprise emerged last Wednesday (11) with the announcement of the end of the collaboration between the UFC and the USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency). This news quickly reverberated in the mixed martial arts (MMA) community and elicited reactions, including from Jon Jones, the current heavyweight champion, who has had a tumultuous history with the agency.
Jon Jones expressed his sentiments through social media. When he competed in the light heavyweight category (93 kg), he faced three controversial situations with the USADA in different contexts, resulting in suspensions and the loss of his title at the time. With the announcement that the USADA will no longer conduct anti-doping tests on UFC athletes starting in 2024, Jon Jones emphasized that he “survived” the period during which the partnership between the organizations was in effect, which began in 2015.
He stated, “Man, I survived the USADA. First, they said I was guilty because of picograms, then they considered me innocent, and then picograms became something legal. Guess what? I’m still here, still undefeated. This nonsense of a ‘no contest’ against Daniel Cormier needs to be removed from my record. I never cheated in this sport, and I’ll stand by that until the day I die.”
In 2016, Jones was removed from the fight that would have unified the light heavyweight titles against Daniel Cormier and would have headlined UFC 200. On that occasion, the fighter tested positive for clomifene and letrozole, prohibited substances. As a result, he lost his championship and was suspended by the USADA for a year.
After serving the suspension, Jones returned to fighting in July 2017 and defeated ‘DC’ with a head kick. However, the result of the fight was nullified when he tested positive for turinabol in a pre-fight examination. This led to a ‘no contest’ (fight with no result), and Jones was suspended again, this time for 15 months.
The controversy surrounding turinabol followed Jon when he returned to the sport in 2018. Shortly before his fight against Alexander Gustafsson, a minuscule amount of the steroid was found in his system. Jones argued that the detected amount was extremely low, measured in picograms, which equate to an infinitesimal quantity of a gram. Despite this claim, the Nevada State Athletic Commission refused to allow ‘Bones’ to compete. To keep the event intact, the UFC moved the fight from Las Vegas to California, where the local Athletic Commission found no evidence that Jones had used turinabol again.
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