According to the latest USADA reports, former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was the most tested UFC fighter in 2020 with 25 selected samples.
USADA is the official American National Anti-Doping organization (NADO). They have been conducting tests in UFC since 2015 as their third-party independent testing partner. The need for USADA emerged after a spate of allegations on various UFC fighters accusing them of steroid use. Vitor Belfort, Alistair Overeem, and Brock Lesnar were some of the names accused of using PED and steroids. Before USADA, respective Athletic Commissions of host states of various UFC events were responsible for testing.
In 2020, USADA conducted a total of 3551 tests on 719 fighters, a commendable feat considering that the country was under lockdown for a better part of the year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Jon Jones, who fought just once in 2020, was tested 25 times by USADA. None of the samples were tainted, and it looks like Jones has finally put his substance abuse problems behind him.
Bantamweight Cory Sandhagen, who fought twice in 2020, is second on the list with 18 tests. Grant Dawson (featherweight), Jimmi Rivera (Bantamweight), and Felicia Spenser (women’s featherweight) are tied third with 17 tests each.
Fighters like TJ Dillashaw, Paulo Costa, and Israel Adesanya are among the top ten most tested athletes in 2020.
Jon Jones history of PED usage
Perhaps the biggest name suspended by USADA since its association with UFC is Jon Jones. Jones had returned from a separate suspension in 2016 and captured the interim light heavyweight title. He was then stripped of the title and handed a one-year suspension for failing a drug test.
Jones' rematch with Daniel Cormier for the undisputed title was scheduled for UFC 200. However, he was removed from the bout by USADA for a doping violation. On November 7th, 2016, it was announced that Jon Jones was suspended for one year till July 7th, 2017.
His rematch with Daniel Cormier finally took place in 2017 at UFC 214. Jones won the fight via a head kick KO. However, on September 13th, he was suspended again by USADA for testing positive for Turinabol and was stripped of his title for the third time. Keeping this history in mind, fight fans will be happy that Jones is finally clean.
However, suspensions or not, Jon Jones will always be regarded as one of the greatest fighters to step inside the octagon.Published 13 Jan 2021, 17:00 IST