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Jon Jones Return: Confusion and Controversy.
PED Suspension Mired in Mystique
Jon Jones is widely considered to be one of the greatest pound for pound MMA fighters of all time. He came on to the scene with a unique fury, that left most of his opponents perplexed and unable to answer, and he never let up. Jones claimed his first UFC title at the age of 23, a record for the organization. He holds victories over some of the sports top names, and has amassed an impressive list of records and accolades over the course of his career. But there has also been a cloud of confusion and controversy surrounding Jones’s alleged drug use, as well as his involvement with steroids, and some questionable behavior outside the cage.
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Jones has made headlines more than once for providing urine samples that contained banned substances, which has lead to the stripping of his titles and various suspensions. After his second return to the cage from being suspended, Jones again claimed the lightweight title by defeating Cormier via knockout in the 3rd round, and was subsequently flagged once more for banned substances. His title was then stripped again and turned over to Cormier, with the bout being ruled as a no contest.
2 Days ago, it was announced that Jones would receive a 15-month suspension, that would backdate to July 28th of 2017, making him eligible to fight again beginning on October 28th. This suspension is much lighter, having been lessened by 30 months for “substantial assistance” under section 10.6 of the USDA anti-doping policy, which is an interesting detail of the story. Jones’s camp maintains that they do not know how the substances got into Jones’s system, and it seems the USADA has decided to take the same stance and move on without further action. It all seems a little inconsistent, but the powers that be have made their decisions. So, the fans will get to see Jones back in the cage, the USADA will keep doing their thing, and it will be business as usual.
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What are your thoughts? There’s a bigger discussion here. We’ve been bombarded with controversy on the subject of PED’s lately. It seems on a weekly basis the practices of athletes are being called into question, or someone is getting popped for dabbling with PED’s. In the realm of combat sports, the training and preparation may be more taxing on the body than any other sport in existence. Are the athletes using PED’s to simply recover and be able to get out of bed the next day, or is it a true attempt to get a leg up on the competition? We may never know, but the stricter the policies become, hiding their use will become increasingly more difficult.