Jon Jones is at the center of another controversy after a USADA urine test taken on December 6th turned up traces of oral turinabol, the same substance he popped positive for back in July of 2017. But not all is as it immediately seems! According to the UFC and USADA, this is just a leftover amount of that same PED metabolite showing up again. And they believe in Jon Jones so much, they’ve decided to move UFC 232 from Las Vegas to Los Angeles where the CSAC will still sanction Jones’ fight with Alexander Gustafsson.
Dana White went on ESPN with Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky (aka their USADA point man) to explain the situation.
“This weekend is the big light heavyweight fight here in Las Vegas with Jones and Gustafsson, the superfight between the women Nunes and Cyborg, and we’re moving it from Las Vegas to the Forum in LA,” White told SportsCenter. “Tickets will go on sale Wednesday and people who bought tickets here in Vegas can get a full refund and we’ll figure out how to get you seated in LA if you’re interested in moving to LA to watch the fight.”
Novitzky explained the decision making process as they saw it from the NSAC and CSAC.
“We took this information to the NSAC and while I think they understood the issue, I think partly because of Christmas holidays they didn’t feel they had the time to fully vet this issue.,” Novitzky said. “We then went to the state of California and their executive director Andy Foster who is intimately involved with the issue because he had jurisdiction over Jon’s July 2017 positive drug test, understood the issue, relied on USADA and the experts who testified that this was a residual effect and he had no performance enhancing benefit from that. And decided to grant Jones a license for this fight on Saturday.”
After being asked to clarify that the UFC was moving UFC 232 after Jones tested positive, Dana White chimed in.
“He did not test positive!” White said.
“Let’s make this clear, this is not another violation,” Novitzky added. “This is a result of a residual effect from the July 2017 positive test. Not only USADA who independently administers our program but other experts throughout the world verified this was the case and that he retains no performance enhancing benefits from this small amount. So let us make this very clear: this is not another positive test.”
#ICYMI just a short bit ago, #UFC232 is moving from LAS VEGAS to THE FORUM in INGLEWOOD, Calif. UFC President Dana White and Jeff Novitzky give a few details about an atypical Jon Jones drug test finding. https://t.co/Wt5a510CVG #JonesGustafsson2 pic.twitter.com/mZUPeUmFDJ— MMAjunkie (@MMAjunkie) December 23, 2018
In another press meeting (video via MMA Junkie), Novitzky expanded on the test results and the process behind their determination it shouldn’t be considered a failed drug test.
“We were notified earlier this month of an issue he has had over his most recent test where a very very small amount, in fact I’ll describe how small it is, of a long term metabolite of a substance called DHCMT also known as oral Turinabol, which was the reason for his most recent suspension a year and a half ago. A very very small amount of a long term metabolite has shown up in a recent urine sample that was collected from him.”
According to a USADA statement, they detected 60 picograms of the substance.
“USADA fully analyzed it internally, they reached out to outside experts from around the world,” Novitzky continued. “They consulted with another pro sports league that has seen the same issue. And all of them independent of us determined that this was not a re-ingestion of the substance, A, and B, the very very small amount that was occurring and still showing up, according to these experts from around the world, did not provide any performance enhancing benefit.”
So what do you think, Maniacs? Sound legit or is this Jon Jones situation just getting too ridiculous?