The United States Anti-Doping Agency finally announced Wednesday its punishment of Jon Jones, for failing a doping test at UFC 214 last July. The USADA arbitrator found that Jones’s steroid use was unintentional, and hit Jones with a 15-month suspension, retroactive to July 28, 2017.
“The independent arbitrator found that Jon Jones was not intentionally cheating in this case, and while we thought 18-months was the appropriate sanction given the other circumstances of the case, we respect the arbitrator’s decision and believe that justice was served,” said USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart.
The timeline of the suspension will make Jones eligible to fight again, hey, look at that, as soon as the end of next month. UFC 230 is scheduled for November 3 at Madison Square Garden, although it sounds like a return that soon might not be in the cards:
Time was apparently deducted from Jones’s potential suspension due to his “substantial assistance” in the USADA’s investigation, and given the way Jones celebrated today’s announcement on Instagram, it seems like this is the kind of leniency that was generally not expected when news of Jones’s failed test was first announced. It’s certainly a far cry from the worst case scenario, which Dana White described as a probable end to Jones’s MMA career.