08 Jan UFC Champ Jon Jones Submits Himself to Drug Rehab After Testing Positive For Cocaine Metabolites
After the successful title defense against rival Daniel Cormier at UFC 182, UFC Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones enlisted himself for another battle. A much shocking and personal one.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission through executive director Bob Bennett confirmed Jones, 27, tested positive for cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine and subsequently submitted himself into a drug rehabilitation facility. Details surrounding the announcement affirmed “Bones” was tested positive for the said substance in a December 4 random drug test.
However, the NSAC still allowed Jones to compete January third because cocaine and its metabolites are not banned out-of-competition. As defined by the World Anti-Doping Agency, out-of-competition means more than 12 hours before the scheduled bout of a fighter. That is the reason why Jones still went on to headline the Las Vegas event, wasn’t penalized for it and more importantly, the result of the fight against Cormier won’t be overturned. Additionally, sources say Jones was again subjected to a random test after December 4 and passed. (The second test was done probably a week later according to chairman Francisco Aguilar.)
Jones himself acknowledged the problem and released a statement to Yahoo! Sports:
“With the support of my family, I have entered into a drug treatment facility. I want to apologize to my fiancée, my children, as well as my mother, father, and brothers for the mistake that I made. I also want to apologize to the UFC, my coaches, my sponsors and equally important to my fans. I am taking this treatment program very seriously. Therefore, at this time my family and I would appreciate privacy.
The UFC offered moral support in an official statement posted in its website and commended Jones for facing the obstacle head-on:
“We support UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones’ decision to enter a drug treatment facility to address his recent issue. While we are disappointed in the failed test, we applaud him for making this decision to enter a drug treatment facility. Jon is a strong, courageous fighter inside the Octagon, and we expect him to fight this issue with the same poise and diligence. We commend him on his decision, and look forward to him emerging from this program a better man as a result.”
Amidst all the talk and furor, picking apart the issues Jones are facing reveals they are more complex than it seem to be.
One, Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole cited an unnamed source that testing for recreational drugs like cocaine is against the WADA code and the test seemed to have been done erroneously in the first place. It’s like doing biopsy and finding out that the patient has AIDS– not cancer.
Two, what will the UFC do with the longest-reigning 205-lb champion in history? It’s not like he has broken the rules per se but he clearly has a problem. Jones may have simply entered rehab to save face and evade further inquisition, not to mention, the possible “punishment” the UFC might impose on him. One way or the other, would the UFC continue to take a head-in-the-sand approach with the elephant in the room as big as Jon Jones?
Three, did Jones know about the rules and tried to make his way around it, and now is THIS his contingency plan? As I have said, questions abound, and we’re not even in the context of the “actual” recreational drugs.
(Dana White: “Why does the Nevada Athletic Commission bar marijuana but permit cocaine?”. Chuck Mindenhall of MMA Fighting: “The way the rules are drawn up are such that we’re punishing not the import of the drug itself, but its staying power in the body.”)
Will anything good result from this? We all know sometimes life doesn’t turn out the way we envision it be. But something even remotely positive after this embarrassment is enough for me. You know, like chopping every druggie’s head off.
Metaphorically, that is.
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