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UFC 232: CSAC forces Jon Jones into VADA drug testing to save face (and it’s not working)

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California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) is either hard-up for cash, or must really think Jon Jones is the victim of some grand conspiracy, because it was willing to license “Bones” even after a neighboring commission was like “Yeah, no.”

Jones was slotted to fight Alexander Gustafsson at the upcoming UFC 232 pay-per-view (PPV) event this Saturday night (Dec. 29, 2018) in Las Vegas, but what’s being referred to as “atypical findings” in his most recent drug test had Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) unwilling to rubber stamp his application to compete.

So, the promotion called over to CSAC and executive director Andy Foster, clearly a fan of the embattled light heavyweight, was willing to host UFC 232 after UFC struck a last-minute deal with The Forum in Inglewood — but only if Jones enrolled in Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA).

Turning them down wasn’t an option the second time around.

“Jon Jones is certainly clean right now. That’s not questionable,” Foster told ESPN. “The Nevada commission did not have enough time to get this thing done, but this is not about California taking a fight Nevada would not. And out of respect for Nevada, I’ve kept all the officials working the (title) fight the same as it would have been in Las Vegas.”

If he’s “certainly clean” ... why even bother with VADA?

”This is also not a slight on the USADA program,” Foster continued. “I have an interest in clearing this narrative out there that Jon Jones is on steroids. We flew him on a plane two days ago to make sure he doesn’t have steroids in his system. There are a lot of people out there saying he is, and that is misinformation.”

I think it’s pretty obvious CSAC is trying to save face after licensing him when NSAC wouldn't. It’s not about whether or not Jones is guilty of doping, it’s about going through the proper steps to make sure an athlete is competing fairly and let’s face it, “Bones” does not have the best track record when it comes to playing by the rules.

In addition, there’s really no reason to introduce a new drug testing program since United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is clearly finding whatever substances are still hanging around. The real issue is what USADA and UFC do with those results (as well as what appears to be preferential treatment) that has everyone in an uproar.

Why move an entire event to another state and screw over the rest of the fight card to accommodate one athlete? Because UFC, like CSAC, has bills to pay and quotas to meet, so the show must go on.