Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones has escaped a severe punishment from USADA despite testing positive for turinabol following UFC 214 last year.
USADA announced last night that Jones will be suspended for just 15 months for his second anti-doping offense after an investigation concluded that “some degree of fault” lay in his hands, that “the violation was not intended nor could it have enhanced” his performance.
“The independent arbitrator found that Jon Jones was not intentionally cheating in this case, and while we thought 18 months was the appropriate sanction given the other circumstances of the case, we respect the arbitrator’s decision and believe that justice was served,” USADA CEO Travis T Tygart said in a statement.
Since the suspension is retroactive that means that Jones is now eligble to compete as soon as October 28th.
“It’s difficult to express myself at this moment, but I can definitely say my heart is filled with gratitude and appreciation,” Jones said of the news. “I want to thank all of you who have stood by me during the toughest stretch of my life. It has meant the world to me and always will.
“But now is the time to shift the focus front and center to the road ahead. Greatness is what I’m chasing and the path to reclaiming my throne is now officially open. Comeback Season begins now.”
Jones suspension ends just days prior to UFC 230 on November 3rd in New York City, and given that the show is currently without a main event that has led to speculation that the star could now make his comeback on that night.