Jon Jones had his U.S. Anti-Doping Agency arbitration hearing on Monday. The hearing stems from a drug test returning positive results for prohibited substances prior to his scheduled UFC 200 main event bout with Daniel Cormier.
The arbitration hearing was an all-day marathon, but it has yet to produce a definitive result.
Jones tested positive for prohibited substances prior to UFC 200 in July. He was subsequently removed from the bout with Cormier. At a Nevada Athletic Commission hearing in August, Nevada Deputy Attorney General Caroline Bateman revealed Jones had tested positive for Hydroxy Clomiphene (an anti-estrogenic agent) and Letrozole metabolite (an aromatase inhibitor) in his June 16 out-of-competition drug screen.
Jones and his camp, mainly his attorney, Harold Jacobs, have argued that he did not willfully ingest the substances. They argued that a contaminated supplement caused the prohibited substances to appear in his drug test sample.
“We’ve been able to establish the source of the prohibited substances,” said Jacobs during a recent episode of The Luke Thomas Show on SiriusXM. “It came from a product that Jon took that was not labelled with either of these substances. We had it tested; the product was contaminated with both of them. I know USADA also independently had the product tested; their testing confirms what we found. We then sent essentially the same pills that we had had tested to be tested by USADA’s lab, which also found the same thing. Pretty much every time it’s been tested, it’s shown that the product is contaminated with both Clomiphene and Letrozole.”
While both sides have apparently found the same result, Jacobs said in a post-arbitration interview with MMAFighting that Monday's meeting still took 9 to 10 hours, but noted that, in his experience, that is standard, as arguments are made during the arbitration hearing similar to how they would be in a court room.
“I think that the evidence all came in and we're happy with sort of how the case went and now we're just gonna wait for the decision,” said Jacobs. “It's out of our hands now.”
Jacobs didn't detail the proceedings or talk about specifics, but said that his team felt it was important to get the USADA arbitration hearing done ahead of Jones' disciplinary hearing with the Nevada Athletic Commission, which is expected to take place on Nov. 10.
“We think that before Nevada hears the case, it would be useful for them to see how these arbitrators analyzed the same facts and come to the decision that they're going to come to,” said Jacobs. “I think it’ll be useful for Nevada to see how they come to it.
“It’s the first case that’s come to (an arbitration) hearing with the UFC, and I think that Nevada is equally interested to see what decision they come to.”
Jacobs felt confident that the arbitration decision would end favorably for his client, but didn't reveal what form a positive outcome might take. A favorable outcome is likely to be something along the lines of a six-month suspension, which is what other fighters have received from USADA after it was determined a contaminated substance was at fault.
Until a ruling is issued, we'll all have to wait and see what the outcome is, but Jacobs remained steadfast in his positive outlook.
“We’re satisfied with how the evidence came in and we’ll wait for the decision.”