White, Reebok, cocaine? What we’ve learned from the Jones drug failure

Photo credit: UFC.com


When Jon Jones tested for cocaine, one of the most notorious illegal drugs in the USA, we thought he would be stripped of his belt. Man were we wrong… Dana White has sent so many mixed signals about UFC’s stance on illegal drugs during this fiasco that it’s hard to keep up. Hell, the mixed martial arts and fan boy community sympathetic to Jones say the same as White. It is a very perplexing time to be a fan. Here’s what we have seen so far:

What the UFC released on Jones’s entrance in to rehab:

We support UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones’ decision to enter a drug treatment facility to address his recent issue. While we are disappointed in the failed test, we applaud him for making this decision to enter a drug treatment facility. Jon is a strong, courageous fighter inside the Octagon, and we expect him to fight this issue with the same poise and diligence. We commend him on his decision, and look forward to him emerging from this program a better man as a result.

A lot of Jon Jones supporters are pushing that he is a victim and some want him to “Get well soon”. He’s not a criminal like the general populace for doing cocaine, he’s some kind of twisted victim/hero. Just look up the tweets when you get a chance.

Cocaine is not as bad as weed. Just Google “UFC marijuana suspension” and see the consequences for pot smokers. Weed is on specific lists, but it is legal now in some states for Pete’s sake. Cocaine will never be because of the nature of its effects. Check out the different types of WADA lists of banned substances for specific times an athlete is tested.

In competition banned substance list

Substances banned at all times

List of sport specific substances that are banned

The Nevada Commission is likely to take a very good look at why Jones was administered a test for recreational substances in the first place. The World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) standard doesn’t recognize these as admissible when done during an out-of-competition period. They will also be eyeing the way the UFC handled the test. The world is already confused by the whole deal in general so maybe they can shed some light on the subject.

Apparently, cocaine is not a concern when it comes to the UFC’s image. White has chosen the PR tour of  “Jon did the right thing” instead of “We have a potential addict as our flagship champion and that is unacceptable”. Sonnen was crucified for PED’s and Jones is applauded for cocaine rehab? Different substances, different circumstances, but same principle. The only difference is that one is most likely to affect the outcome of a fight in favor of the athlete who is using the PED’s. Cocaine is still a hard addiction.

The widespread belief is that Jones only entered rehab after testing positive because he got caught. Period, end of story. If he escaped these results most believe he would have continued his addiction. We do hope he gets clean. I have seen the perils of addiction and what it did to good people.

Reebok, UFC’s latest flagship sponsor will not penalize Jones in any way, shape, or form. Nike dropped him for brawling with DC. Here’s Reebok’s statement:

We commend Jon for taking the necessary steps to address this issue, and we will support him in any way we can. The status of Jon’s relationship with Reebok has not changed.

The Jon Jones incident has opened a lot of eyes as to how the athletic community views illegal substances. There is a good chance that someone will be made an example of over this and publicly for sure. Only time will tell if Dana is as lenient with his lesser known fighters, but something tells me he won’t be. It may take another incident for them to fortify a wellness policy PR move like WWE has in the past. Get clean Jon and get back in the Octagon. We don’t judge.