Jon Jones had a well-publicized positive test for cocaine metabolites stemming from a 2014 test ahead of UFC 182. He entered rehab at the time, but denied having any addiction issues with cocaine, or even liking the drug, telling Ariel Helwani:
“Ariel, I’ll look you dead in your eyes. I don’t like coke. I’m not a coke guy.”
“…But cocaine, you know, I tried cocaine one night and the athletic commission is there the next day. It was just, like, how in the world did this just go down? How did it happen this way? So now people like to paint me as this coke head, and my haters would love for me to be a coke head, but far from it.”
The arbitration decision seems to directly contradict those statements, or at least suggests that Jones went from using cocaine just once to using it significantly more often between 2015 and 2017. Per the arbitration award for his Turinabol case:
“Mr. Jones candidly admitted to USADA that prior to and for a period of time after the reporting of his second adverse analytical finding on July 28, 2017 Mr. Jones used illicit, so-called ‘street drugs,’ including cocaine.
As a result, Mr. Jones and his representatives agreed that it was necessary and appropriate for Mr. Jones to engage in a full-time rehabilitation program to regain a level of health and independence even if it meant prolonging resolution of his second anti-doping rule violation.
Accordingly, during the pendency of his case Mr. Jones voluntarily entered into a rehabilitation program and completed a month long in-patient program successfully.”
Cocaine is not banned out-of-competition, but he was fined $25,000 by the UFC in 2015 for violating its code of conduct.
Jones received a 15-month suspension backdated to July 28th, 2017, which means that he’s eligible to return to MMA competition after October 28th, 2018. Given that this was his second USADA violation, he could’ve received a four-year ban, but instead got a 33-month reduction. The former UFC light heavyweight champion’s return date is not yet known.