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UFC 200: Jon Jones denies knowingly taking performance-enhancing drugs

Additional notes by Dave Meltzer

A visibly distraught Jon Jones denied knowingly taking performance-enhancing drugs at a press conference Thursday morning after being flagged by USADA for a potential out of competition drug test failure on Wednesday night.

The emotional Jones had to leave the press conference to gather himself briefly before coming back. He apologized for the fans, the UFC, and Daniel Cormier for being removed from the fight. 

"I want to apologize to Daniel Cormier. I know that this fight means a lot to him. The fight means a lot to me and the fight is not happening. So I just want to apologize to everyone sincerely."

The interim light heavyweight champion and top pound-for-pound fighter in the world was joined by agent Malki Kawa and said that he had never even heard of the substance that led to him being removed from the main event of UFC 200 against Cormier. Kawa said that it is possible that the failure could’ve come from a tainted supplement.

"I've been taking the same supplements for the majority of my career and I've been so outspoken about being against any type of performance enhancers," Jones said. "The whole thing sucks because being labeled someone who would ever cheat just really hurts more than anything else I've been through in my whole career."

Both Yoel Romero and Tim Means were able to prove to the satisfaction of USADA officials that it was a supplement they had taken which caused a positive test. In those situations, the fighters were suspended for six months, rather than the usual two years for a first offense.

If such a thing happens here Jones would be eligible to fight on the New Year's show, but would miss the Madison Square Garden show that he was expected to be part of, whether he won or lost against Cormier.

Kawa said that Jones’ B sample will be tested tonight in Salt Late City, Utah, but that chances the test would come back negative weren’t good.

The big question coming out of this is why it took until July 6 to get the result from the A sample for a test on June 16, and yet a B sample test could come back immediately. And if that is the case, if the B
sample comes back clean (unlikely but it is possible), what that would mean, because in that theory the fight should still be on.

If Jones is unable to prove that the positive test came from a contaminated supplement, that would mean a two-year suspension from the sport. Jones vowed to continue fighting even if given the lengthy suspension.