Jon Jones’ failed drug test at UFC 214, his second in a little more than a year, has cast a shadow over his emphatic victory against Daniel Cormier on July 29.
However, Frank Lester, one of Jones’ Jackson-Wink MMA teammates, believes that the failed drug test, which resulted from an in-competition sample collected on July 28, wasn’t completely above board. Lester, a competitor on Season 9 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” currently helps run the amateur fighter program at Jackson-Wink in Albuquerque, N.M.
“I was just at dinner sitting next to Jon Jones when he got the phone call about this failed drug test. Supposedly the story is between weigh ins and fight night he took a oral steroid. Which makes zero sense since it wouldn't do anything at all for Jon to do so. It takes weeks for steroids to build up in your system to be a performance enhancer,” Lester wrote on his Facebook page. “Jon was devastated to say the least. This is a set up, straight up, no athlete would test clean his entire fight camp, and then randomly take some cheap fucking oral steroid betweens weigh ins and fight night knowing he would be tested once he got done fighting. This is a straight set up.
While an initial TMZ Sports report claimed that Jones has already been stripped of the belt after testing positive for the anabolic steroid Turinabol, UFC President Dana White refuted that report to ESPN.com.
A subsequent statement from the UFC confirmed the failed drug test but did not reveal the substance, as USADA will handle the results management and adjudication moving forward. Jones will be entitled to a full legal review process before any sanctions are imposed.
“They are trying to ruin this kid’s life. It makes no sense and Jon wouldn't do it,” Lester continued. “Let's see what happens with all of this but I truly believe Jon is innocent & I hope that all of you will give him a fair chance before you send hateful judgements his way.”
Jones also failed a drug test prior to a proposed bout with Cormier at UFC 200, when he tested positive for two estrogen blockers. He completed his one-year, USADA-mandated sanction in July, just a few weeks prior to UFC 214. Jones himself has not yet commented on the positive test.