UFC champ Jon Jones enters rehab after testing positive for cocaine

LAS VEGAS – UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones announced Tuesday that he has entered a drug treatment facility. 

The announcement came just days after Jones defeated Daniel Cormier on Saturday in the main event of UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden in a five-round decision that left many considering him as the greatest mixed martial arts fighter of all time.

But in a random drug test given to him on Dec. 4 by the Nevada Athletic Commission, Jones tested positive for benzoylecgonine, the main metabolite in cocaine.

The Nevada commission follows the World Anti-Doping Agency code and benzoylecgonine is not banned out-of-competition. As a result, the commission was unable to penalize Jones or prevent him from fighting despite knowing of the positive test.

It conducted a follow-up test later in December that Jones passed. Yahoo Sports was unable to get the exact date of the second test that Jones passed.

Jones released a statement to Yahoo Sports through his attorney acknowledging his problem. 

"With the support of my family, I have entered into a drug treatment facility. I want to apologize to my fiancée, my children, as well as my mother, father, and brothers for the mistake that I made. I also want to apologize to the UFC, my coaches, my sponsors and equally important to my fans. I am taking this treatment program very seriously. Therefore, at this time my family and I would appreciate privacy."

The UFC released the following statement in regards to Jones:

“We support UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones’ decision to enter a drug treatment facility to address his recent issue. 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. We commend him on his decision, and look forward to him emerging from this program a better man as a result.”

Nevada commission chairman Francisco Aguilar said the commission is going to discuss out-of-competition drug tests at its next meeting and whether to break from the WADA code in similar situations. 

"I am pleased that Mr. Jones is addressing this issue and seeking help for his problem," Aguilar said.

The test given to Jones was analyzed for anabolic agents, peptide hormones, growth factors and related substances, beta-2 agonists, hormone and metabolic modulators, diuretics and other masking agents, stimulants, narcotics, canabinoids and glucocorticosteroids.