FOX Sports Live aired an exclusive one-on-one interview with UFC Light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones last night, his first since it was revealed that he had tested positive for cocaine in a pre-fight drugs test prior to UFC 182.
Read our keynotes of the conversation below and scroll down to watch the full interview for yourselves.
– Jones describes the last few weeks as, “bitter sweet…more bitter than sweet.” He’s happy that he won a big fight against Daniel Cormier recently, but says that what he calls “the bad news” – getting caught with cocaine metabolites in his system – “really sucked”.
– He says Dana White was the first person to tell him about the failed test and was concerned about him and asked how and why it happened.
– When Jones was tested on December 4th he knew he had done something wrong and had expected that it would show that he had taken cocaine. He didn’t tell anyone though.
When asked if he thought there was a chance the test might come back negative (note: cocaine is known not to last long in a persons system) he takes a long pause before answering and is very careful how he responds, eventually saying that he knew he would test positive and there was nothing he could do about it.
– He says he decided to just focus on what he could control – getting ready for his fight on January 3rd. He did think there was a chance he may be suspended and not allowed to fight, but by the time weigh-ins came along he hadn’t heard anything about the drug test, so he began to believe that perhaps he had passed his drug test after all.
– Jones reveals he took the drug at a party. He says he’s not going to make any excuses or blame anyone else for taking it, he made the decision to take it.
– He claims he didn’t take cocaine again between the drug test and the night of the fight.
– As for Jones’ prior usage of cocaine, he says that it was something he had experimented with in college at times but that it was “never really an issue”.
When asked if it was just college and that one time at the party that he used cocaine he replies, “Yeah, yeah, pretty much.”
“I don’t dab into cocaine, that’s not my thing at all,” he says soon after. He doesn’t know what came over him the night of the party
– Asked if he had used any other drugs in the past he replies, “I’ve dibbed and dabbed in my fair share of partying let’s say.”
– He admits that the whole thing has been embarrassing and he’s had to explain to a lot of people that he’s “not a cocaine addict, not even a frequent user.”
– He says his brothers were disappointed and it had embarrassed them, especially in the locker room at their respective teams in the NFL. He claims his mum was very supportive. She told him she didn’t care about his career or his fame, she just cared about him personally.
– Interestingly, Jones refuses to comment on whether he will be taking any legal action against the Nevada State Athletic Commission since cocaine isn’t on their list of out-of-competition banned substances and so technically there could be an argument to be made that the test shouldn’t have been made public.
– He doesn’t think he should be released by the UFC unless it was something that was an ongoing issue, then he’d expect that conversation to come up.
– Regarding the fact that his testosterone levels were significantly below average when he was tested (though not at illegal levels), he points out that Daniel Cormier also had lower levels than the average man and claims there’s no underlying reason for that – every man has a different level.
He’s aware that some sources have claimed the low level could have come from using performance enhancing drugs, but states with conviction that he has never taken a PED.
– Going to rehab when the news of his test became public was “a collective decision” between Jones and some of his business partners. He had assured them that he didn’t have a drug problem, but they felt it was best that he go and let the experts decide so he agreed to do so.
– He says he went to a rehab clinic for a 24 hour evaluation where he spoke to a number of doctors for around 7 hours. He claims they told him afterwards that he didn’t need to be an in-patient. He went to an out-patient house for a day and then a councillor told him he felt Jones had just made a big mistake and didn’t need to live with them full time.
Instead they are going to give him weekly drug tests and will visit him a few times a week to see how he’s doing. That will continue for an indefinite period of time.
– As for how he personally will deal with this issue, Jones says that, “it’s not a defeat if you learn something from it.” He plans to learn from his mistakes and try to do better in the future.
– He says he’s not so concerned about his own image as he is about having left his fans down and he apologizes for letting them down.