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Daniel Cormier says Jon Jones drug-test failure could be a ‘death sentence’

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Daniel Cormier lands a jab on Jon Jones at UFC 214.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Could we have seen the last of Jon Jones in the Octagon? Daniel Cormier seems to think it’s a possibility.

Cormier said Wednesday on UFC Tonight that he believes Jones’ latest failed drug test could be a “death sentence” and he might never return to the UFC. Jones tested positive for the steroid Turinabol in an in-competition sample collected one day before he fought Cormier in the main event of UFC 214 for the UFC light heavyweight title.

“This is a death sentence,” Cormier said. “If this does what it says it can be, it’s a death sentence. This is a very expensive drug, it isn’t gonna be easily found in a supplement. I’ve been in the USADA program for 12 years. I’ve never had this issue. If it was a mistake the first time, you’ve gotta be more careful, especially with all the scrutiny that was on him coming back from a suspension. You’ve gotta be cautious and careful. To expect people to understand any more is just ridiculous.”

Jones, 30, ended up beating Cormier by third-round TKO on July 29 in Anaheim, Calif. He won the light heavyweight title from Cormier with the victory, But after Jones’ ‘B’ sample confirmed Tuesday that he had a steroid in his system in competition, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) overturned the win to a no contest and the UFC gave the title back to Cormier on Wednesday.

This is just the latest issue in a long list of them for Jones. Last year, Jones tested positive for two banned substances, clomiphene and Letrozol, and was pulled three days before what would have been a title challenge against Cormier at UFC 200.

Jones was suspended one year for that infraction in 2016. He is now facing a four-year USADA suspension as a repeat offender. However, he still has to go through the full adjudication process. Jones’ team has said Jones never knowingly took the steroid and they are currently investigating how it might have gotten into his system.

Cormier, 38, doesn’t think much more needs to be said at this point.

“The reality is, you can’t fail a drug test,” Cormier said. “You can pass 100 tests. You can’t fail one. They’re saying we have to wait for the due process, but what are we waiting for? We’ve tested the ‘A’ sample, tested the ‘B’ sample and if there’s anything, you cannot test positive for performance-enhancing drugs, man. You just can’t do it. It’s unfair. I’m very upset about it.”

In the lead up to their fight, Cormier said in the media that he believes Jones has been on steroids for the majority of his career. Jones was outraged by those accusations and said so numerous times before the bout.

Last year, the substances Jones popped for were not steroids, but now he has tested positive for a steroid.

“I think it’s crazy,” Cormier said. “It’s one of the craziest things.”