Jon Jones has been handed a 15-month backdated ban for violating the UFC’s anti-doping policy, meaning he can return to competition from 28 October.

The American was stripped of his light-heavyweight title after testing positive for a banned substance before his bout at UFC 214 on 28 July, 2017.

But the United States Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) found Jones, 31, “was not intentionally cheating”.

“My heart is filled with gratitude and appreciation,” said Jones on Instagram.

“I want to thank all of you who have stood by me during the toughest stretch of my life. It has meant the world to me and always will.

“But now is the time to shift the focus front and centre to the road ahead.

“Greatness is what I’m chasing and the path to reclaiming my throne is now officially open. Comeback season begins now.”

Jones’ knockout of Daniel Cormier in California in July 2017 was recorded as a no contest after a prohibited chlorine-substituted anabolic steroid was found in his in-competition sample.

Jones faced a potential four-year ban, but this was reduced by 30 months by Usada for his assistance and again by the independent arbitrator who heard the case.

It said Jones had been tested on multiple occasions leading up to UFC 214, and as recently as three weeks prior to the event, all of which came back negative.

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