• Andrew Starc

The Crimes of Jon Jones Part 2 – Coke, Dope & Dick Pills

The brazen defiance with which Lance Armstrong denied allegations of doping is legend.

His infamous tweet, showing him 'just layin' around' on a couch gazing at his seven yellow Tour De France jerseys mounted on a wall, brought narcissistic denial to a new level.

Jon Jones, whose legacy will forever be complicated by doping violations, has ritually trafficked in this same denialism.

While the light-heavyweight GOAT did admit to cocaine use, as any good Christian would, he's flatly denied any personal hand in his two PED violations.

He's blamed dick pills. He's sworn innocence on his "Heavenly Father." And he's made attempts at obscuration – analogising the amount of steroid metabolite found swimming through his veins as "a pinch of salt in an Olympic-sized swimming pool," while failing to address how it got there in the first place.

Such is Jones' notoriety that his repeated instances of pissing hot have introduced new terms like "pulsing picograms" into the MMA lexicon – a phrase previously only used by men in lab coats.

Despite Jones' stern denials, delivered with his characteristically calm, poker-faced delivery, suspicions linger.

The legendary story of Jones hiding under an octagon at his gym for eight hours to avoid a surprise USADA drug test, and his older brother similarly popping for PEDs, only add more smoke to the already billowing fire of his guilt.

All this in addition to his extensive criminal profile, detailed in part one of this series.

So is Jones just an innocent, misunderstood lamb of God, who accidentally ingested Oral Turinabol – a steroid notoriously used by the hulking East-German Olympic team?

Or is he simply, as this astute Redditor phrased it, a "juicy slut?"

In this article, we chronicle Jones' history of doping violations, along with other instances of his questionable behaviour in the UFC, so you can decide for yourself.

2012 – 'Selfish' cancelling of UFC 151

"This is one of the most selfish, disgusting decisions," seethed UFC President Dana White after he was forced to cancel UFC 151 – a first in the franchise's 19-year history.

The selfish culprit? Jon Jones, of course.

Jones, whose main event opponent Dan Henderson pulled out last minute, refused to save the card by accepting a match-up with Chael Sonnen on three days notice.

"I don't think this is going to make Jon Jones popular with the fans, sponsors, cable distributors, television network executives or other fighters," fumed White, little realising how dramatically this incident would pale in comparison to Jones' future scandals.  

2014 – Jon Jones' casino floor brawl with Daniel Cormier

"Hey pussy are you still there," asks Jones mockingly to Daniel Cormier as the camera continues to roll after the duo's interview on SportsCenter.

"I'm here," answers Cormier, almost bashfully.

The off-air conversation, which pulls back the curtain to reveal Jones' true persona not exhibited during the on-air interview, quickly devolves.

"I wish they would let me next door so I could spit in your fucken face," seethes Cormier.

"You know I would absolutely kill you if you ever tried anything like that, Daniel," threatens Jones with sociopathic calm.

Below: Jones threatens to kill Cormier off-air

The heated exchange took place only hours after they brawled at one of the wildest pre-fight press conferences in UFC history.

As Jones and Cormier face off at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas prior to UFC 178, tensions boil over. A light head-butt by Jones provokes a violent shove from Cormier.

Between them stands all five-foot-seven of bald skinny white guy somehow charged with the duty of keeping apart two 205+ lb trained killers full of hatred for each other.

Jones sweeps the diminutive white guy aside, who falls ungraciously into and collapses the promotional banner, before throwing a right with mean intent at Cormier.

As the brawl spills onto the casino floor, a gaggle of security, coaches and members of the sporting press sprawl around the duo.

Jones lands a take-down and dispatches some light ground and pound on Cormier, before security pull them apart.

He reemerges back on stage to primally scream before a baying crowd and, one can only assume, rows of nonplussed slot-jockeys.

Jones and Cormier would later face their misdeeds before the po-faced officialdom of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, with the former doling out heaping amounts of penitence.

Judged the aggressor in the brawl, Jones received a $50,000 fine and 40 hours of community service, Cormier $9,000 and 20 hours.

Their main event bout at UFC 178 is allowed to proceed, before it's postponed when Jones sustains an injury. They would instead fight at UFC 182 – before Jones would once again mire himself in controversy.

2015 – Jon Jones is busted for cocaine

If nothing else, Jon Jones knows how to avail his shady past as fodder for entertaining trash talk.

“I beat you after a weekend of cocaine. I had two great weekends. Cocaine one, your ass the next, ” boasted Jones to Daniel Cormier at a UFC press conference, referencing his positive cocaine test just weeks before they fought at UFC 182.

Inspiring countless coke-themed meme replies every time he tweets, the positive test saw Jones, hilariously, enter rehab for a day, before checking himself out – insisting he didn't have a cocaine problem.

Ariel, I’ll look you dead in your eyes. I don’t like coke. I’m not a coke guy,” declared Jones in an interview with Ariel Helwani.

Cocaine addict or not, Jones does likes to party. Speaking to Joe Rogan in 2016, he described, and rationalised, his tendency to do so before fights.

"One week before every fight I would go out and get blacked-out wasted. And my logic was, if this guy was to beat me, I could look myself in the mirror and say I lost because I got hammered before the fight."

After popping for steroids in 2017 (more on that below), he admitted to USADA that his cocaine use increased significantly in the preceding years.

“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," revealed USADA.

Following the revelation, Jones voluntarily entered rehab, this time for a month. He would also speak candidly about his cocaine use.

"As far as me doing coke before a fight, that’s not me trying to be a bad guy," said Jones during a UFC press conference in 2017.

"That’s me frickin’ doing a bump—you know, at a party. If you can afford to smoke a little weed and do a little coke and still win world titles, I mean, who's to tell you you can't?"

And, perhaps he's right. The World Anti-Doping Agency only prohibits in-competition use of cocaine. Out of competition, it's kosher.

Below: Jones delivers one of the all-time great UFC presser insults at Daniel Cormier

2016 – 'Dick pill' doping scandal

"Why does a guy like you need Cialis?" Joe Rogan asks Jones, incredulously, during his appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience in late 2016.

"I have a huge cock, Joe," deadpans Jones, eliciting a cackle from Rogan.

"That's a good answer. You don't have the resources to get it normally?" continues Rogan with his sceptical line of questioning, before a deep swallow from Jones.

"It puts the twist to the end of a punch, you know what I mean. It's a good time," elaborates Jones. This time, Rogan peals back in laughter.

Jones is witty when he needs to be, especially when deflecting interrogative inquiries into his dubious claims.

In July 2016, just weeks before his highly anticipated rematch with Daniel Cormier at UFC 200, he tested positive for two oestrogen blockers – clomiphene and letrozole – commonly used together as “post-cycle therapy” to mitigate the side effects of steroid use.

Facing the press to answer for his misdeeds, Jones broke down in tears.

“The whole situation really sucks. It really hurts a lot. Supposedly they found something in one of the samples. I have no clue what it is," he told press.

Below: Jones wipes away tears whilst fronting the press

He later blamed the positive test on taking an off-brand, tainted Cialis sexual enhancement pill, procured by a team mate online. Suspicions loom large as to why an elite athlete in his physical prime requires pharmaceutical assistance to get a boner.

The revelation further narrowed the eyes of Jones' sceptics. Their suspicions were first raised just prior to UFC 182, when he recorded an alarmingly low testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio – an indicator of suppressed natural testosterone production, typically caused by steroids.

USADA would, however, corroborate Jones' dick pill story by independently sourcing a supply of the same off-brand Cialis pills from the website used by his team mate. Tests confirmed the pills were tainted with the banned substances found in Jones' system.

An arbitration panel ruled Jones was "not a drug cheat," but found him "reckless" in his "imprudent use of what [Jones] pungently referred to as a 'd--- pill.'"

He was banned from competition for a year – a second stint on the sidelines after having recently served a six month suspension for his hit-and-run accident. The rematch with Cormier, who was visibly distraught upon hearing the news, was cancelled.

Just a week before the positive test, Jones had waxed lyrical to ESPN about his rising from the ashes of his previous career-derailing misdeeds.

"I want to be one of the few stories you hear where I was ruining things but ultimately turned things around and became a hero," he gushed.

He would have a chance to rise from the ashes yet again, on the other side of his year long ban, by facing Cormier at UFC 214.

2017 – Jon Jones tests positive for Oral Turinabol

"Declaring the winner by knock out, and now, and again, the new undisputed UFC light-heavyweight champion of the world, Jon 'Bones' Jones," boomed the voice of Bruce Buffer to a rapturous crowd at the Honda Center in Anaheim on 29 July 2017.

It was a spectacular moment of redemption for Jones. Returning from a year's suspension, he had once again defeated fierce rival Daniel Cormier, recapturing his light-heavyweight crown in devastating fashion.

From Jones, kneeling in the centre of the octagon with head in hands, came an outpouring of emotion.

"Man, it's such a beautiful moment. If anybody at home has let yourself down, or let your family down, let your peers down, let your co-workers down, it's never over. As long as you never quit, it's never over," gushed Jones, still kneeling, to Joe Rogan.

"Thank you all. I know it hasn't been easy to root for me, I have the most loyal fans ever."

Three weeks later, their loyalty was truly tested.

On August 22, USADA revealed Jones had tested positive for Oral Turinabol – an East German steroid that powered the communist nation to Olympic success in the 70's and 80's. Lacking the potency of other steroids, Turinabol is often used as part of multi-steroid “stacks” by bodybuilders.

Jones had tested positive in a pre-fight urine test. Following the revelation, his B sample test also came back positive.

His spectacular, rivalry-ending win over Cormier declared a no contest and stripped of his title, Jones was facing the end of his career, with a four year suspension likely.

No better articulated was his fans' disappointment than the top YouTube comment under his triumphant post-fight interview.

"When I die, I want Jon Jones to lower my casket so he can let me down one last time..."

In September 2018, over a year since he popped, Jones's case went to USADA arbitration. His reported willingness to "snitch" on other suspect fighters to USADA saw 30 months wiped off his suspension. His manager claims Jones did nothing of the sort.

The arbitration found Jones "was not intentionally cheating." His suspension was further reduced by three months on account that Jones had passed multiple out-of-competition drug tests leading up to UFC 214, before failing the in-competition test — the one he knew was coming.

Jones argued he had no idea how a Turinabol got in his system. He submitted more than a dozen dietary supplements to USADA and none came back contaminated.

He was handed an 18-month suspension, retroactive to July 2017, when his test sample was collected, making him eligible to fight a month's hence.

A rematch with Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 would announce Jones' long-awaited, triumphant return. Everything would go to plan, until six days before the fight...

2018 – Pulsing Picograms

“This weekend is the big light-heavyweight fight here in Las Vegas with Jones and Gustafsson...and we’re moving it to the Forum in LA," announced UFC President Dana White on SportsCenter, just six days before the fight at UFC 232.

It was an unprecedented moment– moving an entire card, including fighters and fans with pre-booked hotels and flights – to another state at the eleventh hour.

The culprit was, naturally, Jon Jones.

Earlier in the week it was revealed a USADA drug test found "picograms" of Turinabol in Jones' system.

In consultation with "leading scientific experts," USADA concluded the picograms were a "pulsing" effect "consistent with [the] residual amount" of Turinabol found in Jones' 2017 positive test. It declared there was no evidence Jones had re-administered the substance and that he "obtained no performance enhancement."

With Jones vs Gustafsson set to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the revelation sent the Nevada State Athletic Commission into a Christmastime frenzy.

Its employees enjoying yuletide festivities, NSAC didn't have the resources to review Jones' case and grant him license to fight. The California State Athletic Commission, familiar with Jones' history of doping, however did.

Powerfully bald duo Dana White and UFC VP of Athlete Health and Performance, Jeff Novitzky, went on a PR offensive to play down the "atypical" finding.

White would chortle on ESPN that Jones "did not test positive!" While Novitzky explained to UFC fans, like he would to a five year-old, what a "picogram" actually is.

“A picogram is a one-trillionth of a gram. If you put one grain of salt on the table and split it up into 50 million pieces, a picogram is one of those pieces of that gram of salt. These levels have shown up in the single and double digits of picograms – so such a small amount.”

Alexander Gustafsson, whom Jones defeated in 2013, reacted to the news on Twitter.

The situation was ripe for an entertaining pre-fight press conference, in which Jones would, hilariously, repeatedly stumble over the word picogram, confusing it with "pictogram."

"I was no genius throughout schooling," Jones says, to laughs in the crowd. "I'm learning all these things about pictograms," he says, to more laughs.

"What a pictogram err...what a picogram is is taking a grain of salt and chopping in into 48 million pieces."

"I'm almost mad it was even mentioned. It's invisible, you can't take a picogram, you can't knowingly take it."

"You snorted it," shouts a fan, eliciting guffaws from Jones and the crowd.

Jones would also, as if a defence attorney attempting to sway the jury, advance an argument for his innocence, indulging in another hilarious malapropism.

"I think through science I will be vindicated. I've passed a polygram [sic] test with pretty much the FBI."

Gustafsson, meanwhile, directed his invective squarely at Jones.

"I'm here to fight, nothing else. Whatever this guy's saying is just bullshit. He's just terrible, this guy's terrible," seethed the Swede.

"I'm happy we have a fight, it doesn't matter if he's on rocket fuel or whatever, I'm going to beat him anyway."

"You say the same dry ass shit every fight. Shut the fuck up," snapped Jones.

Jones went on to beat Gustafsson decisively, finishing the Swede via TKO in round 3. Months later, it was revealed the stubbornly persistent picogram of Turinabol was again found in Jones' system, just prior to the fight.

While offering no athletic advantage to Jones, the question remains – how did it get there in the first place?

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