USADA arbitration panel suspends Jon Jones 1 year

November 7, 2016

USADA has ruled that Jon Jones will serve a 1 year suspension after an arbitration on his drug test results last week.  Jones’ suspension is retroactive to July 6, 2016 in which the results of an out-of-competition revealed banned substances.

The full ruling can be found here.

Jones’ took a Cialis-like sexual enhancement pill which, according to the 29-page ruling, he contends he had checked to see if it was on the WADA prohibited list, but he did not know the substance he took was contaminated.  The ruling indicates that the actual drug he ingested was an 0ff-brand drug similar to Cialis.

Per the ruling, Cialis is not a prohibited substance and its purpose is to “enhance sexual not sporting performance.”  The brand name of its active agent is Tadalafil.  The Cialis pill is manufactured by Eli Lilly but the product Jones ingested was purchased from a web site named

According to the ruling, Jones received the pills from a training partner but did not check as to whether or not they were really Viagra.


Despite claiming he did not know that the substance was contaminated, it did not persuade the panel.


Jones will still have to face the Nevada Athletic Commission and may serve an additional suspension or fine.

One year was the maximum suspension Jones faced from USADA because the banned substance fell under “specified” under the WADA Code which means that there are more likely to have a non-doping explanation rather than for PED purposes.  Certainly, as ruled by the panel of three arbitrators, the contaminated substance is used for sexual enhancement and not for sports performance.  Jones’ attorney, Howard Jacobs, had hoped that the arbitrators would have ruled that Jones would only receive a “reduction to no less than a reprimand” per the UFC Anti-Doping rules.

Instead, in an Epilogue to the ruling the panel writes that while Jones was not a “drug cheat” he is culpable for his actions which cost him a year and reportedly $9 million.


Payout Perspective:

The USADA ruling is consistent with its mandatory penalty so there was no reduction for Jones unknowingly taking a contaminated substance.  Despite the fact that Jones admitted to taking the contaminated substance and USADA knowing of the contamination, there was no mitigation of punishment.  The ruling reflects the fact that USADA will be stringent as to keeping athletes responsible for what goes into their body.  Jones will still need to appear before the Nevada Athletic Commission and this ruling my persuade the commission as to its punishment as well.

6 Responses to “USADA arbitration panel suspends Jon Jones 1 year”

  1. Wil on November 7th, 2016 2:23 PM

    Business as usual with both Jones and the UFC…..

  2. Fight Fan on November 7th, 2016 3:27 PM

    No joke how many chances will this guy get?

  3. mmaguru on November 9th, 2016 9:12 AM

    UFC stripped him of his belt

  4. jf on November 11th, 2016 1:34 PM

    Nevada Athletic Commission will bury him.

  5. Combo on November 12th, 2016 11:31 PM

    USADA is no joke.
    This ain’t corrupt boxing.

  6. Sports Law Links – The Sports Esquires on November 14th, 2016 10:36 AM

    […] arbitration panel suspends Jon Jones for one year. Here’s the full arbitration decision.  Jason Cruz analyzes the […]

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