Just three days after handling longtime rival Daniel Cormier, UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones is voluntarily checking into a drug treatment facility.
In a random drug test administered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission on December 4, Jones tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a primary metabolite found in cocaine. The results came back less than two weeks before the Cormier fight. Benzoylecgonine, however, isn't a substance banned out of competition by the World Anti-Doping Agency code, which the NSAC follows, so Jones didn't have to bow out of the fight. But his piss came back dirty, which meant the results were going public, so Jones took the opportunity to get out in front of it, and here we are.
Here's a statement Jones released to Yahoo!:
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.
A week ago, Deadspin published a long profile I wrote of Jones, who at 27 years old is already the greatest fighter the sport has ever seen. In it, I focused on Jones's ability as a fighter, as well as his efforts to present himself as a wholesome family man outside the cage.
"I've always been straight edge, man," he insisted to me once, before immediately admitting that he was lying. "I've always been straight edge."
This doesn't come out of nowhere. In reporting this story, I heard a lot of rumors about Jones's cocaine use, some of which went past what you'd expect of a rich young celebrity in 2014. I left those alone partly because it's a long way from rumor to solid fact and partly because, as evidenced by his success, whatever he's been up to late at night hasn't hurt his athletic performance much. This is worth noting just by way of saying that this is more likely than not something that actually could affect his career, as opposed to the result of one night's bad decision. Just a few minutes ago, I got this text from a source close to Jones: Can't believe it took this long for jon to pop on coke.
The UFC has issued a statement ...
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.
... as has UFC president Dana White:
I am proud of Jon Jones for making the decision to enter a drug treatment facility. I'm confident that he'll emerge from this program like the champion he truly is.
Best of luck to Jones on his recovery.
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