TMZ reports that Jon Jones tested positive for the steroid turinabol during an in-competition drug test at UFC 214.
While Jones is entitled to due process before facing any sanctions, if the report is accurate and no mitigating factors exist he is facing a wide range of steep consequences for this doping violation.
First, under s. 10.1 of the UFC/USADA Anti-Doping Policy “ADP” his victory against Daniel Cormier can be overturned to a no-contest and the UFC can strip him of his title and purse with the section providing as follows:
An Anti-Doping Policy Violation occurring during, or in connection with, a Bout
may, upon the decision of UFC, lead to Disqualification of all of the Athlete’s results
obtained in that Bout with all Consequences, including, without limitation, forfeiture
of title, ranking, purse or other compensation
Next he can be facing a suspension under the ADP. Turinabol is a “non-specified substance” under the policy with a default 2 year suspension. Section 10.2.1 reads as follows:
The period of Ineligibility shall be two years where the AntiDoping
Policy Violation involves a non-Specified Substance or
Moving on to section 10.7 things can get worse for Jones as this would be his second ADP violation. This section requires a doubling of the penalty stating “For an Athlete or other Person’s second Anti-Doping Policy Violation, the period of Ineligibility shall be…twice the period of Ineligibility otherwise applicable to the second Anti-Doping Policy Violation treated as if it were a first violation“. In short 4 years.
Next the UFC can fine Jones up to $500,000 with section 10.10 stating “In addition to the other Consequences described under this Article 10, UFC may impose a fine on an Athlete or other Person who commits an Anti-Doping Policy Violation up to the sum of $500,000 depending on the seriousness of the violation and the relative compensation of the Athlete or other Person“.
Things don’t end there. The California State Athletic Commission, who regulated this bout, share concurrent jurisdiction with USADA to impose sanctions.
In addition to having the authority to suspend Jones’ licence the CSAC can hit him with a steep fine. Specifically “the commission may also assess a fine of up to 40 percent of the total purse for a violation of Section 18649 related to the use of prohibited substances.”. If you are asking, yes, turinabol use is a violation of section 18649 which adopts the WADA prohibited list.
Last but not least Jones may be vulnerable to civil liability if Cormier alleges he never consented to fight a doping competitor. Such a lawsuit can have legs if intentional doping can be proven. Given the bout ended with Cormier suffering a traumatic brain injury this is no small risk. Basically a fighter can argue that doping is fraud and fraud vitiates consent to fight. If this is proven a Court can find that any damage suffered in a bout is a result of an unlawful battery. This is not unprecedented as can be seen from the Collins v. Resto lawsuit for battery via glove tampering and the Ruiz v. Toney doping lawsuit that was resolved via out of court settlement.
So, in short, Jones can be looking at
- Having his victory against Cormier overturned
- Forfeiture of his purse
- Forfeiture of his title
- 4 years of ineligibility imposed by USADA
- a $500,000 UFC fine
- A CSAC imposed suspension
- A fine of up to 40% of his purse imposed by the CSAC
- A potential civil lawsuit by Cormier alleging battery
Lastly it is worth noting that an arbitrator found Jones “reckless” with respect to his last ADP violation so leniency may be in short supply this time around.