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Jon Jones: Amount of steroids found in system after UFC 214 was like ‘pinch of salt’ in swimming pool

Jon Jones
Jon Jones smiling at the UFC 200 Media Lunch
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Jon Jones wants everyone to know that banned substances or not, he’s no cheater.

On two separate occasions in the past few years, Jones has received suspensions from the United States Anti-Doping Agency as a result of positive drug tests announced in July 2016 and August 2017. These incidents have left an indelible stain on one of the most successful MMA careers of all time.

In both instances, Jones and his team argued that the now 31-year-old fighter was the victim of tainted supplements. He was stripped of an interim light heavyweight title after the first violation and handed a one-year suspension, then saw a light heavyweight title win over Daniel Cormier overturned to a no-contest and a 15-month suspension dealt to him for the second violation.

The latter case was determined by an independent arbitrator who “found that Jon Jones was not intentionally cheating in this case,” per a statement from USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart issued in September. However, skepticism abounds over the legitimacy of the tainted supplement defense (in the second case, Jones’s team was not able to provide a clear explanation for how the banned substances ended up in the fighter’s system) and how much the failed tests affect his legacy.

During a recent appearance on the Jackson-Wink associated JW RAW show, Jones defended himself against critics by pointing out that whatever the reason for his failed tests, any steroids he may have ingested would have had no effect on his actual performances.

“I would say that those would be people looking for an excuse not to give it to me, not to give credit where it’s due,” Jones said. “Because in the first situation, it was proven — well, in both situations, whatever was in me chemically was proven scientifically that the amounts were so small that there was no way possible to affect my performance in a positive or a negative way.

“The two times where I’ve failed drug tests for performance enhancers, it’s been so small that it can’t affect your performance.”

Jones attributed his first failed drug test to taking a male enhancement pill and while that excuse did not result in a reduced suspension, he feels it at least provides further vindication.

He went on to add that neither violation could have helped him during his championship reign from 2011 to 2015, or had anything to do with his head kick knockout of Cormier at UFC 214 (a result that was essentially erased on paper in the wake of the second positive test).

“The dick pill situation, that was proven that it was a mistake,” Jones said. “Who takes a male enhancement pill expecting to fight better? I mean, nobody. We actually found the company, we found the exact pills, we ordered the pills and the pills came back with stuff in it that wasn’t supposed to be in there. Such a small amount that it’s not going to make you fight any better or make you stronger.

“Then in the second situation, we just found out to have USADA say ‘the amount of steroids we found in your body Jon, it was like taking a pinch of salt and throwing it in an Olympic size swimming pool’. It was such a small amount that it’s pretty obvious that this was an accident. And then for this to be something that got into your body two weeks before the fight — so two weeks before the fight, you took a pinch of steroids and threw it in an Olympic size swimming pool. It’s very clear that this is nothing that helped you knock out Daniel Cormier.”

Jones then questioned the possible steroid use of his opponents, saying some were “glaringly on steroids” and he still defeated them, though he refrained from naming any individuals.

As far as Jones is concerned, those questioning his credibility at this point are in denial of his accomplishments.

“For anybody who’s saying, ‘Well, he must have been cheating,’ it’s like, okay, after what I just said, if you still want to call me a cheater, then you just don’t want to admit that I’m f**king pretty good at this,” Jones said.

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