In the wake of USADA’s relatively swift response in dealing with Fabricio Werdum‘s failed drugs test in April, speculation has been rife as to why UFC’s anti-doping partner are taking so long to reach the conclusion of their case against Jon Jones.
It has been more than 12 months since Jones’ ill fated drugs test following his win over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 and we are yet to hear anything from USADA regarding the case. While USADA remaining silent during an investigation isn’t at all unsual, it is unusual for the process to drag out to this extent and fans are understandably growing restless.
It has been approximately two months since former college roommate of Jones, Colby Covington, suggested that the former UFC light heavyweight champion could be using his management team to help make the problem disappear.
“They’re probably trying to pay off the UFC or USADA somehow to get him back earlier,” Covington told the ‘You’re Welcome’ podcast in July. “You never know the UFC’s side, they want to do business and make money, so if he’s available, and USADA clears him, then they’re gonna want to do business and put him back out there to fight and make that company money.”
Jones responded to “disgusting” Covington’s claims on social media calling his former room mate “a special type of liar”, adding that he feels “sorry for anyone in [Covington’s] life who believes a word that comes out of [his] mouth.”
While Jones was quick to dismiss Covington’s claims, the rumours appear to have caught the attention of USADA. In a written statement provided to MMAJunkie earlier today, USADA spokesperson Danielle Eurich denied payments are involved in the outcome of cases.
“In relation to some media and social media comments we have observed, USADA wishes to clarify that under no circumstances do we receive payments as part of the resolution of cases.”
Per MMAJunkie, USADA declined to add any additional comments relating specifically to the status of their ongoing investigation of Jon Jones.
With the MMA world alive with rumblings of a potential return and Jones himself adding fuel to the fire with his sudden uptick in social media activity, the consensus seems to be that the former champion may be on course to avoid receiving the maximum possible suspension of four years. He may in fact be eligible to return immediately based on the time he has already been suspended.
At this point, all we can do is speculate on the possible outcome but all signs appear to be pointing toward a resolution being reached, one way or another, in the not too distant future.