UFC champion Jon Jones emphasized that only trace quantities of anabolic steroids were ever found in his system.
Jon Jones, the current UFC light-heavyweight champion who is considered one of the greatest mixed martial arts athletes of all-time, recently opened up about the psychological suffering he experienced as a result of being suspended for using anabolic steroids.
Jones admitted falling into a deep depression after he tested positive for long-acting metabolites of the anabolic steroid Oral Turinabol (dehydrochlormethyltestosterone) in August 2017. Jones faced a potential four-year suspension for his second anti-doping violation.
The steroid accusations made Jon Jones sad and depressed.
“I actually had to go through counseling,” Jones said. “It was hurtful to go through what I just got out of, but to be back and to stay faithful to it all and to stay training even though I was facing a possible four-year suspension.”
Jones ultimately was only sentenced to a 15-month suspension after he agreed to provide “substantial assistance” in helping USADA catch other dopers.
USADA also concluded that Jones “was not intentionally cheating in this case”. The levels of Oral Turinabol metabolites were simply too low to come as the result of intentional doping.
Jones reported feeling victimized by the fight media and MMA fans. They unfairly labeled him as a cheater. But Jones strongly maintained that USADA never found “full-blown steroids” in his body.
“Being accused of doing steroids, it was really sad for me,” Jones recalled. “There were never full-blown steroids ever found in my system and I’ve always been open to drug testing, so it made no sense to me, it made no sense to my team, it made no sense to the UFC, to the scientists – why would anyone do steroids at such a low level; at a level that gives you no performance enhancing benefits? It was just sad, man, it was so sad.”
To make matters worse, Jones continued to test positive for long-acting metabolites of Oral Turinabol after he returned from his 15-month suspension. USADA confirmed that Jones failed three more drug tests in August, September and December 2018.
But Jones no longer had anything to worry about. USADA asserted that there was no new steroid use at play. The three atypical steroid findings all resulted from the “unintentional” use of Oral Turinabol prior to August 2017.
UFC Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky even went as far as saying that the UFC would probably not punish Jones even if he continued to test positive for trace amounts of Oral Turinabol for the rest of his life. Novitzky insisted that it was scientifically possible that traces of the synthetic steroid could continue to “pulse” forever.
Jones wants everyone to see him as the victim who has unfairly suffered for being falsely accused of knowingly using anabolic steroids.
MMA fans are not necessarily buying it. However, UFC and USADA are on Jones’ side. And that is all that really matters.
Reive, C. (March 1, 2019). UFC: Jon Jones opens up on exile, depression and legacy ahead of UFC 235 clash against Anthony Smith. Retrieved from nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=12208389