UFC boss Dana White has revealed he was aware that light heavyweight champion Jon Jones had tested positive for cocaine before his title fight against Daniel Cormier.
Jones voluntarily entered rehab this week, just days after defending his title against Cormier, after news broke that he had tested positive for cocaine early in December.
White's revelation is startling, as there are potential dangers for athletes competing after using cocaine.
White said: "What happened was, so they do these tests leading up to a fight, these random drug tests, and he tested positive. No, [there was no talk of postponing the fight] because number one, he was healthy. Number two, the reason you would stop a fight and the hammer would drop on a guy would be if he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs…. [Daniel Cormier] was not [informed of the failed test] because he didn't need to be.
"If he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, everything would have got shut down…. The other thing people have to understand about this situation is Jon Jones was contracted to fight. We have a contract with him. Everybody thinks that we can just say, 'Hey, the fight's off. The fight's not happening.' Damn right he had the right to fight."
His title will not be affected as the positive test was out-of-competition and his in-competition tests before and after the fight all came back clean.
White spoke about his concern for the man that many consider the best fighter in MMA today.
He said: "I was shocked, obviously. This is one of those situations where it's so different than if a guy gets busted for performance-enhancing drugs – you worry about the person first. You forget about the fighting and the work side of it, and you worry about Jon Jones as a person…
"I talked to him yesterday before he went in and I'm hoping that I'll be able to talk to him again. He was in a good place going in there and I'm sure he's in an even better place today. I look forward to talking to him today."