Jon Jones Removed from UFC 200 vs. Daniel Cormier for Potential Doping Violation

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured Columnist

Jon Jones attends a UFC 200 mixed martial arts news conference, Wednesday, July 6, 2016, in Las Vegas. Jones is scheduled to fight Daniel Cormier in a light heavyweight championship fight at UFC 200 on Saturday. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

Jon Jones will reportedly not be allowed to fight against Daniel Cormier at UFC 200 on Saturday after he was flagged for an anti-doping violation, according to Fox Sports UFC on Twitter.

MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani reported Wednesday night the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) flagged Jones following a test June 16.

ESPN.com's Arash Markazi relayed the UFC's official statement:

USADA released a statement Thursday, per Jeremy Botter of FloCombat:

Given that Mr. Jones has spoken publicly about the issue, I can confirm that he has been notified of a potential anti-doping policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition test on June 16. Mr. Jones' B-sample is currently being analyzed by the independent WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah, and we have requested that the laboratory report those results to us as soon as possible. While at this time we are not going to provide any further specifics of the case, I can tell you that Mr. Jones will be provided full due process under the rules.

I can also confirm that USADA has been in communication with the Nevada State Athletic Commission regarding Mr. Jones' potential violation and that we are working to ensure that the Commission has the necessary information to fully adjudicate this matter in accordance with its rules.

On Friday, SportsCenter reported Jones' B Sample tested positive as well. 

The setback is a major one for Jones, who appeared to be reviving his career following a unanimous-decision victory over Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 197 in April. The fight represented Jones' first action in the Octagon after he received a one-year ban stemming from a felony hit-and-run charge.

And according to UFC president Dana White, more discipline could be on the way.

"Jones might get two years for this," White said Wednesday evening during a meeting with reporters, per Yahoo Sports' Dan Wetzel.

As for Cormier, losing Jones as an adversary Saturday evening in Las Vegas deprives him of a chance to exact revenge. Jones beat Cormier by unanimous decision in their first meeting at UFC 182, and UFC 200 promised to give the 37-year-old an opportunity to emerge victorious in the Octagon against one of his biggest rivals.

According to MMA Fighting on Twitter, White said the news is "devastating" for Cormier "in every way it could possibly be."

However, White did offer a hint of optimism regarding the possibility of a showdown involving Cormier on Saturday evening on short notice, per MMA Fighting:

On Thursday, White said Cormier would fight in UFC 200 despite Jones being pulled from the event, per MMA Fighting.

"I've trained hard and long," Cormier said, per MMA Fighting. "If anyone would fight, I would fight. Why not?"

According to Helwani, White said it's unclear if Cormier will be compensated if the UFC is unable to find an opponent on just three days' notice.

The news of Jones' expulsion from the fight is also a big blow to the promotion itself since the UFC previously pulled Conor McGregor off the card after he failed to fly to Las Vegas for a news conference that would have preceded a rematch with Nate Diaz.

Now it's on White and Co. to scramble and cook up an alternative for Cormier to remain on the card.