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Published: 08:54 | 7/7/16

Jones pulled from UFC200

Withdrawn over potential anti-doping violation

Jon Jones has been removed from UFC200 for a potential anti-doping violation.

Jones had been scheduled to meet Daniel Cormier in the main seven at UFC200, but the interim light heavyweight champion has been ruled out of the bout after testing positive for a banned substance in an out-of-competition sample taken on June 16.

The heavyweight bout between Brock Lesnar and Mark Hunt will now be the main event on the card in Las Vegas on Saturday.

"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," a statement from the UFC read.

"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."

Jones can have his B sample tested and UFC president Dana White admits he does not know if the violation involved a performance-enhancing substance.

"He's got the chance to prove himself innocent before proven guilty, but if it's true, obviously super, super disappointing," White told a press conference. "These type of things are going to happen. It could have been a lot worse. Jones might get two years for this."

Regarding Cormier's appearance at UFC200, White added: "When you have the biggest, baddest fight card ever assembled, you know, it doesn't sting as bad when you lose a fight. But it stings real bad for Daniel Cormier. This is devastating to him, his family, and I'd like for him to fight another guy."

Cormier hopes to fight on the card but accepts it could be too late to find another opponent.

"I've trained hard and long," Cormier said. "If anybody would fight, I would fight. Why not? I understand the difficult task it would be to find me a fight on two days. I'm willing to fight up, put on some weight, 225, 220 [pounds]. I'll fight. It doesn't matter. I just can't fight a really big guy, because I've been shrinking my body.

"I've worked really hard to prepare for this. You take care of what you need to take care of, that's what I did. More than anything, it's really disappointing."

Jones tested positive for apparent cocaine use before his first fight with Cormier at UFC 182, while he was suspended from April to October 2015 following his involvement in a hit-and-run accident.

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