The Jon Jones drug test saga continued earlier this week when it was revealed that a lingering steroid metabolite resurfaced in the light heavyweight champ’s Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) drug test stemming from UFC 232 last month.
Remember, this is the same lingering steroid metabolite that popped up on Jones’ United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) test prior to UFC 232 and forced the promotion’s hand to move the event from Las Vegas to California on a weeks notice.
While all of the specialists are leading fight fans and fellow UFC fighters to believe that Jones’ abnormal results are coming in picogram form and ultimately stem from previous ingestion, it’s hard to completely ignore the situation. It’s especially hard for a fighter like Alexander Gustafsson, who lost his light heavyweight title rematch with Jones at UFC 232 via third-round TKO.
California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) executive officer Andy Foster, who assisted the move of UFC 232 from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, explained Jones’ situation in further detail in a recent interview with Fightful’s James Lynch (video shown above):
“The scientists have said there was no evidence of re-administration, the evidence…when we go back and look at the testing from August until now. It is indisputable that there’s been no re-administration and there’s no way to prove re-administration between July and what I believe is August of 2018, so Jon Jones, like any athlete, is afforded the presumption of innocence. That doesn’t change based on who you are, he served his time…he sat out his time and scientists say…multiple scientists have said, including the expert scientist that I used when I got Jon for the metabolite in 2017, put in writing that there’s no evidence of re-administration.”
That’s all well and good, but it’s going to be more and more difficult to convince the combat community, especially UFC light heavyweight contenders, that these tests should be accepted as the norm when it comes to Jones.
With new science being used and Jones subjecting himself to additional drug testing maybe we’ll get a deeper understand of the lingering picograms in the near future. Until then, the speculation will continue to surround Jones and his return to glory atop the UFC’s 205-pound division.
Jones is currently slated to defend his title against Anthony Smith at UFC 235 this March in Las Vegas pending license approval from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).