Not all compliments are created equal. For the undefeated Mixed Martial Artist, Jon Jones- his unprecedented success has fans incredulous about claims that he has given up on using steroids.
Every attempt by Jones to convince his UFC fan base that he’s given up doping has fallen flat after testing positive recently for a trace amount of steroid metabolite similar in nature to Nandrolone Phenylpropinate(NPP), a popular substance among athletes looking to improve endurance and speed.
The 31-year-old fighter insists that he is not using and that he does not intend to. ESPN quoted Jones, saying, “I think my trying to prove any type of innocence is going to be virtually impossible before the fight, because of the controversial image I have. People are kind of set in what they’re going to believe. I can’t win over many minds before the fight.”
To date, Jones has failed two drug tests in 2016 and 2017 and was suspended both times. The USADA determined in both cases that the presence of drugs in his system were not the result of intentional steroid use. Medical examination and blood testing have led doctors to believe that the substances found in his system did not improve Jones’ athletic abilities.
Still, Jones’ rough around the edges personality and his non-stop winning streak has got fans and officials doubting the veracity of his claim to be drug-free.
A recent fight was moved from Nevada to California because the state of Nevada could not clear Jones in time for the early December event. Jones said that the ordeal had been a nightmare, but that he was confident he would test clean.
“Even the scientists that found it, don’t know much about it. I’m hearing reports this s— could live in my system for seven years,” Jones told reporters last month. “I’ve learned to say, ‘You know what Jon? You know in your heart you did nothing wrong.”
Jones made an announcement on Instagram that he would be available for autographs after an upcoming fight. This is a show of confidence for the fighter who’s fans are the biggest skeptics when it comes to whether or not he is clean.
“I understand there are fans out there who aren’t healed and lost serious money. I’ve had to bury my emotions and deal with them after, but I will try to make it better for my fans after the fight.”