Jon Jones denies taking illegal substances and breaks down in tears after failed drugs test

The light-heavyweight fighter also apologised to fans and opponent Daniel Cormier after his UFC 200 headline bout was called off.

Tears run down Jones' face.
Tears run down Jones' face.
Image: John Locher

AN EMOTIONAL JON Jones pleaded his innocence and apologised to fans after being pulled from UFC 200′s main event.

The former light-heavyweight champion was due to face current champion Daniel Cormier for the belt in a highly-anticipated rematch in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

However, news broke this morning that 28-year-old Jones would not be fighting as he is facing an anti-doping violation.

Speaking at a press conference this evening, Jones revealed he hasn’t spoken to his scheduled opponent or UFC president Dana White yet, but took the opportunity to say sorry.

“I want to start by apologising to all the fans who came out to support me for UFC 200, the UFC and the Fertittas, for not being able to perform as I know a lot has gone into this event,” said a teary-eyed Jones.

“I want to apologise to Daniel Cormier as I know this fight means a lot to him. The fight meant a lot to me and it’s not happening so I just want to apologise to everybody sincerely.

“I really don’t know what else to say, I’m just really sorry about this happening.”

Jones denies knowingly taking performance-enhancing drugs and says being called a “cheat” is the hardest thing he has had to face in his career.

“The whole situation really sucks and really hurts a lot,” he said. “Supposedly, they found something in one of my samples that I have no clue what it is and I can’t even pronounce it.

“I’ve been taking the same supplements the majority of my career and I’ve been so outspoken about being against any type of performance-enhancers. I’m still to this day extremely against performance-enhancers.

Being labelled as someone who would cheat hurts me more than anything else I’ve been through in my career.

He added: “There’s a few things that have nothing to do with performance that I tried. Whatever it is, I can’t even pronounce it and I’ve never heard of it. I’m just learning about it myself.

“Right now, I’m just going through everything that I’ve taken leading up to the fight and going through a process of getting everything figured out.

“I just know in my heart that I would never take anything that would enhance me in any way, so I didn’t feel the need to jot down anything.

“I guess I didn’t really think this could ever happen.”

Source: MMAFightingonSBN/YouTube

Jones walked out midway through the press conference but later returned and manager Malki Kawa also spoke to deny any wrongdoing.

He went on to add that they will fight to prove his innocence, with the B sample being tested today.

“This last 24 hours has been a whirlwind,” said Kawa. “We got the notice last night that there was a possible flag for some sort of PED violation. We’re here to deny that, apologise and go from there.

At this point we’re not going to get into the details of the notice, simply because we’re going to do what we have to do to fight this.”

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If found guilty, Jones could be looking at a two-year ban but he is adamant that this isn’t the end of his UFC career.

“If I do have to sit out for two years, I’ll definitely be back. I’m already thinking about the good that can happen. I’m just optimistic. At the end of the day I’m a fighter, and even though I seem broken up here I’m not broken, I’m just upset.”

On attempting to remain upbeat, he said: “I’m just trying to be optimistic and positive in the situation to find the good in it. My attitude is to figure out what good can come from this in my personal life.

“I try to believe that everything happens for a reason and at the end of the day God has a plan for me — he has a plan for us all.

“I feel like I’ve put in a lot of work to get back to the this point and I have to reclimb a ladder.”

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Ben Blake

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