UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier called on fans to "lay off" Jon Jones after Jones' positive test for a performance-enhancing drug leading up to his victory in their July title fight, which led to Cormier's reinstatement as champion.
On Friday, Cormier posted a message on Instagram about giving his Octagon rival time to assess the situation in peace:
"Guys now I call upon you to take a breathe [sic], lay off of Jones. Let him and his team figure out what's going on and what happened. I was down and some may have kicked me but the majority of you showed compassion and love. After the fight Jones showed compassion, regardless of what has happened as humans we must show compassion. Jon is not on this ride alone, remember this man has a family. Let's respect that. You don't show [your] support for me by hurting others."
Jones defeated Cormer by third-round knockout July 29 to regain the light heavyweight belt, which he'd previously held from March 2011 through April 2015.
In August, however, TMZ Sports reported the New York native tested positive for Turinabol, an anabolic steroid, following the weigh-in the day before the bout.
Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com noted Wednesday the "B" sample confirmed the "A" sample findings.
Jones could receive a four-year suspension since it's his second positive test. The previous came in July 2016 when "multiple anti-estrogenic agents" were found in his system.
On Thursday afternoon, Jones responded to a question from an individual on social media asking him to "tell the truth" about the situation.
"Dude the truth is I would never do steroids, I put that on my children and I put that on my Heavenly Father," he wrote.
The fight result was changed to a no-contest due to Jones' latest positive test. He owns a career 22-1 record with nine knockouts and six submissions. His only loss came by disqualification.
Cormier (19-1) lost to Jones in January 2015 for his only MMA defeat. His first title defense since being reinstated as champion hasn't been announced.