UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is in the midst facing what could be yet another setback in his life.
Jones has been notified of a potential anti-doping violation by USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) for a drug test that was administered in competition on July 28 following the UFC 214 weigh-in ahead of his fight against Daniel Cormier.
Jones defeated Cormier by third-round knockout to win the UFC light heavyweight title.
If the anti-doping violation stands, Jones will once again be stripped of the belt. His manager, Malki Kawa, however, is steadfastly standing beside his friend. He, like Jones, was shell-shocked by the anti-doping violation notice, believing Jones did everything right leading up to his fight with Cormier.
“He’s devastated and he’s hurt,” Kawa said of Jones on a recent edition of The MMA Hour.
“It’s amazing that you can go from being at the very top of the mountain, everything that you can possibly do to gain the respect, the admiration of everyone involved, fans, family members, the people in the UFC, just everyone, teammates, other fighters, and then to go from that, everything he’s been through to finally doing everything perfect — because last time he was being negligent, right? — this time he was being perfect and double-checking everything to (keep) something like this from happening to him. We’re all shocked and devastated.”
The “last time” he was referring to was when Jones was pulled from a planned UFC 200 headlining bout with Cormier just days before the fight. That was also due to an anti-doping violation, for which Jones served a one-year suspension after he was deemed to have been negligent in taking a sexual performance-enhancing substance.
This time, Jones tested positive for a steroid, Turinabol, which Kawa confirmed. It is a substance known for its endurance and recovery enhancement properties. Knowing what happened in the past and the precautions taken leading up to UFC 214, Kawa refuses to believe that it was somehow willfully ingested by Jones.
“I can almost bet my life on it that this is another tainted supplement,” Kawa said.
“You’ve got to just take a look at the testing and how this thing went down. Jon passed two (random) tests, July 6 and July 7,” he said, noting that Jones passed both, which included testing for the substance for which he later failed.
“So therefore, you’re talking about from the day he passed that test until the day before the fight, he would’ve had to have ingested something that would’ve caused this test to come out positive.
“The problem that we’re having with that is that he passes all of the random tests, but then the one test that we know about, the one that we for sure know about, is the one that we fail? So, something here is not sitting right. I’m assuming it’s the supplements we took. We just obviously got to get to work on it, see what was taken that month, that three-week period, that week of the fight, and figure it out from there.”
It defies logic that Jones would have started something new so close to the fight. Besides the likelihood of being caught, the substance he was flagged for doesn’t work all that quickly. For it to be effective, Jones would have had to start it much sooner.
From that standpoint, Kawa certainly makes sense when he questions the last-minute failure versus all of the previous testing he had to undergo just to make it to fight night.
“I’m encouraging everyone to go out there and take a look at the tests he passed and the test he failed. It’s a three-week window the month of the fight. Jon has passed seven unannounced tests, and the one he’s going to fail is the one that’s announced? It’s weird to me, there’s a lot of things here that don’t add up, and to the UFC, it doesn’t add up.”
The information released thus far is based on Jones’ A sample from the drug test. There is still a B sample, which was part of the same collection, that has to be tested to confirm or refute the result of the A sample. Kawa is of course hoping the sample comes back negative, but either way, he doesn’t believe Jones knowingly took any prohibited substances in order to gain an advantage.
“I know Jon better than anybody, and I’m telling you, this man does not cheat. He has no reason to.”