Jon Jones is adamant he did not take any type of steroids prior to UFC 200 after it was revealed he was flagged by United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for Hydroxy-clomiphene, an anti-estrogenic agent, and Letrozole metabolite, an aromatase inhibitor.
While those banned substances aren’t performance enhancers, it is common knowledge they are effective for masking steroid use, according to Chael Sonnen.
And Alexander Gustafsson -- who lost a controversial decision to "Bones" at UFC 165 three years ago — says if it is proven that Jon was "juicing," then he’ll never be able to wash away the "cheater" label.
His words to FloCombat.
"Obviously, I think that if it's proven that he has been cheating, he should definitely be suspended. The sad thing for me is that if he does have to sit out two years, then I'm not sure if he will ever be able to come back. Even if he does come back, he will never be able to erase the 'cheater stamp'. Once you are caught, you can never wash that away."
Still, it’s important to note that pending other test results or an all-out confession from Jon, it will likely never be revealed if he actually took any steroids.
However, it’s safe to assume that the voice of public opinion has pretty much branded "Bones" a cheater, tarnishing his legacy as greatest of all time. But, in Gustafsson’s eyes, he never considered Jon the G.O.A.T. to begin with.
And his recent transgression certainly didn’t help his cause.
"I think he is one of the best fighters in the world, but 'Greatest Of All Time?' No, not for me. There have been, and still are, so many good fighters and I think Jones still has more to prove, especially now after what has happened. Whether he was juicing or not when we fought it doesn't matter. I believe I won that fight and if we meet again, I know I will beat him again."
Jones has been temporarily suspended by Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), and could face up to a two-year suspension down the road.
Which means "The Mauler’s" much-desired rematch will take a back seat, possibly for good.
For now, Gustafsson has his eyes firmly set on his comeback fight against Jan Blachowicz, which is set to go down at UFC Fight Night 93 on September 3, 2016 in Hamburg, Germany.