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Daniel Cormier: Jon Jones’ failed test for steroids ‘a death sentence’

MMAJunkie logo MMAJunkie 9/14/2017 Simon Samano

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Video by Sports Illustrated 

Daniel Cormier has been down this road before with Jon Jones.

Still, the fact that Cormier is dealing with Jones failing another drug test in connection with one of their fights?

"I think it's crazy," Jones said Wednesday on FS1's "UFC Tonight." "It's one of the craziest things."

Jones (21-1-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC) originally was flagged for a potential U.S. Anti-Doping Agency violation Aug. 22 after it was revealed he failed an in-competition at the weigh-ins for his UFC 214 title win over Cormier (19-1-1 MMA, 8-1-1 UFC). On Tuesday, USADA announced that Jones' B sample also came back positive for metabolites of the steroid turinabol.

With that information, the California State Athletic Commission, which regulated the July 29 headliner at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., overturned the result to a no-contest on Wednesday. And the UFC, in turn, responded by stripping Jones of the light heavyweight belt and reinstated Cormier as champion, a decision Cormier believes was "the right thing to do."

So, what's next for Jones? The now-former champion is entitled to due process just like anyone else. But considering this is Jones' third failed drug test in connection with one of their fights (including his cocaine infraction), Cormier wonders why the phrase "due process" is even being thrown around.

"USADA is being very straight line, saying 'due process.' But the reality is you can't fail a drug test," Cormier said. "You can pass a hundred tests; you cannot fail one. And they're saying we have to wait for the due process, but what are we waiting for? … You cannot test positive for performance-enhancing drugs. It's unfair. I'm very upset about it."

That certainly is an understandable sentiment coming Cormier. Also understandable is the likelihood that Jones is headed for arbitration with USADA in an attempt to clear his name.

For his failed test last year at UFC 200, Jones' explanation was that he took a tainted sexual enhancement pill containing estrogen blockers that work in conjunction with steroids. The defense sort of held up as USADA stopped short of declaring him a cheater, though he was still handed a one-year suspension.

If found guilty this time, Jones faces up to a four-year ban. At age 30, that figures to potentially end his career, which is why Cormier knows Jones will defend himself to the end.

"He has to fight this. This is a death sentence," Cormier said. "If this does what it says it can be, it's a death sentence."

But, again, Cormier can't see how Jones explains his way out of this one and doesn't believe he deserves the benefit of the doubt.

"This is a very expensive drug, something that could not be easily found in a supplement," Cormier said. "I've been in the USADA program for 12 years. I've never had these issues. If it was a mistake the first time, you've got to be more careful. Especially with all the scrutiny that was on him coming back from a suspension, you've got to be cautious and careful. To expect people to understand anymore is just ridiculous."

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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