Jon Jones tests positive for cocaine metabolites: The timeline of events
While Jon Jones continues to get treatment at a rehabilitation facility in New Mexico, the fallout surrounding his positive test for cocaine metabolites continues to rock the mixed martial arts world.
Jones tested positive almost exactly one month out from his scheduled fight against Daniel Cormier at UFC 182. The results were returned over a week before his scheduled bout, but weren’t made public until two days after his title defense in Las Vegas.
There are no easy answers as to why Jones was using cocaine a month out from his fight or why the information wasn’t made public until after he had already competed. What we do know is the timeline that took place, starting with the drug test in early December and leading to the UFC light heavyweight champion entering a treatment facility just a few days ago.
Here’s a definitive timeline of the course of events that followed Jones from the first test all the way through the news that broke about his positive result earlier this week.
December 4 — Jon Jones is randomly tested by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for performance enhancing drugs and drugs of abuse. According to Executive Director Bob Bennett, the testing was not supposed to include drugs of abuse and it was an "administrative oversight" why the test was done in the first place. Jones was actually tested twice that day because his first sample was "watery."
December 18 — A second drug test for Jones is ordered. Chairman Francisco Aguilar says that the test was conducted as a follow up due to the positive test for cocaine, despite the fact that results from the first test still hadn’t been returned. Bennett states that the second test was ordered under normal circumstances, but this time there was no additional testing done for drugs of abuse.
December 23 — Test results returned from the Salt Lake City, Utah lab showing that Jones tested negative for all performance enhancing drugs. However, the test did show a positive result for benzoylecgonine, the primary metabolite found in cocaine.
The UFC is informed of Jones’ positive test, but because the testing was done "out of competition," the commission is unable to punish the fighter because cocaine is not a banned substance out of competition. In-competition in mixed martial arts is defined as 12 hours prior to the actual contest taking place.
The test is public information so it will be available later, but the UFC opted not to release the results at this time. According to UFC president Dana White, Jones is checked out by doctors to ensure his health before allowing his fight on Jan. 3 to continue.
"So what happens is, they do these tests leading up to a fight, these random drug tests, and he tested positive," White explained. "(The fight was allowed to go on) because, No. 1, he was healthy. No. 2, the reason you would stop the fight and drop the hammer on a guy is if he tested for performance enhancing drugs.
"He was evaluated by doctors. If you look at how shocked everybody was by this, nothing you saw in Jon Jones leading up to that fight would make you think that he used drugs."
December 30 — Second test results are returned. Jones tested negative for all performance enhancing drugs again, but the test shows it was also conducted for "stimulants" and "narcotics," which would include cocaine. This test result came back negative. Bob Bennett tells Ariel Helwani that the testing results were "copied" and that the second test was absolutely only for performance enhancing drugs.
January 3 — Jon Jones defeats Daniel Cormier by unanimous decision in the main event of UFC 182.
January 6 — Drug test results are made public and Jon Jones enters a rehab facility for drug treatment. Jones issues the following statement, his only statement since the drug test becomes public.
"With the support of my family, I have entered into a drug treatment facility. I want to apologize to my fiancé, 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."
January 12 — The Nevada State Athletic Commission will hold a meeting with an agenda item set for "discussion and possible action regarding the commission’s out-of-competition drug testing program, for possible action." The commission will hear arguments and discuss the realm of out-of-competition testing. Currently the commission goes strictly by WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) rules, but they do have the ability to make additional changes for their particular state just like when they banned testosterone replacement therapy last year.