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In a stunning development, Jon Jones has been removed from his fight at UFC 200 due to a potential failed drugs test

UFC president Dana White made the announcement late Wednesday night via a quickly-arranged press conference, stating that Jones has been flagged by the United States Anti-Doping Agency(USADA) for a potential anti-doping test violation

Jones, twenty eight, was set to fight long-time rival Daniel Cormier in a light heavyweight unification bout in the main event of Saturday’s UFC 200

The test was administered on June 16th however the UFC was only made aware of the results of the test and the potential failure in the last 24 hours, and due to the close proximity of the news and UFC 200 being on Saturday night there was no choice other than to pull Jones from the event instead of going through review process which would not have been completed in time for the Saturday event

It’s unclear why it took nearly a month for the potential test failure information to reach the UFC

White also made the announcement that Brock Lesnar versus Mark Hunt, originally scheduled as co-main event, has been moved up to main event-proper, with the bout remaining a three round affair

As of writing, the UFC was looking for a last-minute replacement for Jones, though on just two-and-a-half days notice it’s highly unlikely the promotion will be able to find a suitable challenger for Cormier

The UFC has released the following statement:

‘The UFC organization was notified tonight that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Jon Jones of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection on June 16, 2016.

USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case. It is important to note that, under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full fair legal review process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed.

However, because Jones was scheduled to compete against Daniel Cormier this coming Saturday, July 9 in Las Vegas, there is insufficient time for a full review before the scheduled bout and therefore the fight has been removed from the fight card. As a result, the three-round heavyweight bout between Brock Lesnar and Mark Hunt will become the UFC 200 main event.

Consistent with all previous potential anti-doping violations, additional information or UFC statements will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.

Ticket refunds available upon request at primary point of purchase.’

By Matthew Singh-Dosanjh