When the announcement was made that Jon ‘Bones’ Jones had checked himself into rehab after he had tested positive for cocaine, everyone from fighters, to fans, to those fluctuating somewhere in between were left in shock writes John Brennan.
Respected MMA commentator, Joe Rogan, found out live on air and reacted in utter disbelief, speculating that Jones could be stripped of his title and that he may be suspended. None of these things have come to pass as the UFC have gotten behind their star man, and backed the number one pound for pound fighter in the promotion.
The UFC’s handling of the situation has been met with considerable ire. Contentiously, the fact that the results were known to Dana White (UFC President) prior to Jones’ recent Light Heavyweight title defence against Daniel Cormier at UFC 182 is something that has been widely criticized. Eyebrows will undoubtedly be raised over the contest now and moreover the UFC’s double standards when dealing with MVP’s compared to other fighters.
To be clear, Jon Jones is not accused of using performance enhancing drugs, but the UFC’s track record of dealing with failed drug tests has been anything but consistent. They have, however, been understandably hardline on performance enhancing drugs ie testosterone and drugs masking the use of testosterone. There have been numerous fighters fined, suspended and even fired over indiscretions regarding these substances throughout the company’s history.
However, when it comes to the “recreational” drugs, there have been ridiculous inconsistencies.
— matthew riddle (@SuperKingofBros) January 6, 2015
Riddle failed two drug tests (marijuana) in the space of 12 months during 2012/13 and was released after the news became public knowledge. Nick Diaz, a UFC veteran, has also been suspended on several occasions for failed drug tests (again marijuana).
One has to wonder whether a fighter other than Jones would have been treated as kindly for a failed drugs test. The fight between Jones and Cormier at UFC 182 was a guaranteed money spinner for the company, as interest in the grudge match had heightened after their brawl at a press conference during the summer.
The decision to supress the results seem entirely based on fiscal matters and this has seen the UFC’s credibility take a considerable hit.
What the future holds in store for the current Light Heavyweight Champion remains to be seen, but to see some of the other more candid responses from other fighters just follow the link.
By John Brennan
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