What was supposed to be Jon Jones's return to greatness at UFC 200 following a suspension and legal troubles ended up only compounding the former light heavyweight champion's problems. Before Jones could face Daniel Cormier in the main event on July 9, he was removed from the card on July 7 for a potential anti-doping violation flagged by USADA.
As it turns out, Jones could be exonerated and soon. "Well, it's coming back now that it looks like he did not take the supplement that everybody thought he took," UFC President Dana White told radio host Jim Rome on his show on Tuesday. "We'll see how this thing plays out."
During a July 18 hearing with the Nevada Athletic Commission , it was revealed Jones tested positive for Hydroxy-clomiphene, an anti-estrogenic agent, and Letrozole metabolite, an aromatase inhibitor. Both are estrogen blockers typically used after a cycle of anabolic steroids to suppress unwanted side effects. The positive results derive from a June 16 out-of-competition drug test.
"I don't even know if this is public. I didn't know if I can talk about it," White said. "Normally, I talk about anything, but when it comes to medical stuff, you can't do it. It's looking like Jon Jones did not take the drug everybody thought he took. It looks like it's something else.
"I'll let this thing play out and if that's true and that's what USADA and the Nevada State Athletic Commission say happened, it could look good for Jon Jones."
While the positive test was administered by USADA on June 16 for an eventual bout in Las Vegas, the Nevada Athletic Commission retains legal authority over Jones's case. However, Jones is still subject to the penalties set out in USADA's protocol created with UFC. For Jones to return to the Octagon, he has to be clear of any penalties or restrictions from USADA and the state athletic commission. Neither body has shared any information publicly about any developments related to Jones's predicament.
White's revelation of Jones's potential return is not the first of its kind. On Sunday, Jones posted a video message on Instagram intimating he had received good news and would return to the Octagon soon.
In addition, while White acknowledged there may have been somewhat of a rush to judgment on Jones, the Jackson-Winklejohn fighter isn't without some blame, suggesting even if Jones ingested the banned substance accidentally, there is still a measure of culpability.
"He didn't get a bum wrap," White explained. "He definitely didn't get a bum wrap, but the substance that he was on, it was a pill that you take when you're coming off of steroids. But this thing is apparently in other things. Jon took something else.
"Where he doesn't come off clean is you have to tell USADA everything that you put in your body leading up to the fight and he did not," White noted.