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07/17/24 01:37:00

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07/17 13:35 CDT Jon Jones fights charges stemming from alleged hostility during a drug test at his home Jon Jones fights charges stemming from alleged hostility during a drug test at his home By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN Associated Press ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) --- UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a pair of misdemeanor charges stemming from a drug test at his New Mexico home in which he was accused of being hostile. Jones appeared seated next to his attorney as the pleas were entered on his behalf during a virtual hearing. An Albuquerque judge granted the attorney's request that Jones remain free pending trial on charges of assault and interference with communication in connection with the March testing session. Jones has vowed to fight the charges. When the allegations first became public, he called them baseless, posting on social media that he had been taken off guard by what he called the unprofessionalism of one of the testers and acknowledged cursing after getting frustrated. "However, I want to emphasize that at no point did I threaten, get in anyone's face, raise my voice to anyone or engage in any form of assault," Jones said in a social media post. Considered one of the top MMA fighters, Jones took the heavyweight title more than a year ago with a first-round submission over Ciryl Gane. It was Jones' first fight in three years and his first in the heavyweight division. He already was the best light heavyweight by winning a record 14 title fights. Jones was suspended for a year in 2016 for a failed drug test and had his 2017 victory over Daniel Cormier turned into a no-contest after another drug test came up positive. Jones argued later that he would have passed under standards that were revised in 2019 by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which changed the criteria for what constituted a positive test. A woman who worked for Drug Free Sport International, which conducts tests for professional athletes, initially filed a report with police in April. She accused Jones of threatening her, taking her phone and cursing at her while she and a colleague were at Jones' home for a drug test. A criminal complaint states that the woman described Jones as cooperative at first but that he became agitated. Jones told police that he thought it was his phone that he picked up and that he apologized for swearing at the woman and her co-worker at the end of the test. He posted video from what appears to be a home camera system showing the woman giving him a high-five before leaving. He said neither appeared scared during the interaction.
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