Jon Jones, UFC Issue Statements Following Jones' Positive Drug Test

Scott HarrisMMA Lead WriterJanuary 6, 2015

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 03:  Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones waits in a time-out as he defends his title against Daniel Cormier during the UFC 182 event  at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on January 3, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jones retained his title by unanimous decision. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)
Steve Marcus/Getty Images

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and the UFC have each issued a statement in the wake of reports that Jones tested positive for a cocaine metabolite during a pre-fight drug test and will enter a rehab facility.

The initial news came Tuesday, when Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports first reported that Jones tested positive for the metabolite, known as benzoylecgonine, in a random drug test administered by the Nevada Athletic Commission on December 4, less than a month prior to his fight last Saturday with Daniel Cormier at UFC 182.

A short time after the news broke, Jones released a statement through his attorneys, which read in part:

.@JonnyBones statement regarding testing positive for cocaine. pic.twitter.com/qTJ92RIuRL

— America's Pregame (@AmericasPregame) January 6, 2015

The UFC also released a statement expressing support for their 27-year-old light heavyweight champion, who most fans and pundits believe is the best MMA fighter in the world. The UFC statement read:

While we are disappointed in the failed test, we applaud him for making this decision to enter a drug treatment facility. Jon is a strong, courageous fighter inside the Octagon, and we expect him to fight this issue with the same poise and diligence.

In the same statement, UFC president Dana White also backed Jones.

"I am proud of Jon Jones for making the decision to enter a drug treatment facility," White was quoted by the UFC statement as saying. "I’m confident that he’ll emerge from this program like the champion he truly is."

It appears unlikely that any additional punishment will be forthcoming for Jones. The Nevada Athletic Commission does not prohibit benzoylecgonine in an "out-of-competition" context. Out-of-competition is defined as the day before or day of a fight:

Re in-vs-out comp. testing timeline, here's what WADA says: http://t.co/Bbx6GlGAqF. In MMA, in-comp typically means day of/before fight.

— Luke Thomas (@SBNLukeThomas) January 7, 2015

The commission follows the World Anti-Doping Agency in not banning benzoylecgonine for out-of-competition testing.

Before the news broke, Jones was riding a big wave of momentum, having defended his title for the eighth consecutive time against Cormier.