Jon Jones has had an out-of-competition drug test report an ‘atypical finding’, causing the UFC to move UFC 232 from Las Vegas to California on less than a weeks notice.
With the drug test submitted on December 9th, the results of that test have since found the presence of turinabol, the same drug Jones tested positive for in 2017 and subsequently received a 15-month suspension.
As a result of Jones’ December 9th test, the United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) has ruled that due to the trace amounts of turinabol in his system, it is consistent with ‘residual amounts’ of his 2017 result findings and have suggested that they feel Jones has not re-administered the drug since.
With the short space of time between the results of Jones’ test and UFC 232 on December 29th, the Nevada State Athletic Commision (NSAC) can not clear Jones to fight in their jurisdiction. After NSAC’s decision not to allow Jones to fight, the UFC has taken the decision to move the whole 13-fight card to California. The UFC failed to notarize the fighters personally of the move with many finding out via social media.
As per the UFC, USADA has deemed the amount found in Jones’ test to be negligible and will not count the recent findings to be a failed drug test.
“Both USADA and worldwide anti-doping experts told us this was not a re-ingestion of a prohibited substance, it was remaining effects from the July 2017 positive test — for which he was already sanctioned,” said Jeff Novitzky, UFC’s vice president of athlete health and performance. “And probably more importantly, he retains no performance-enhancing benefits from the small presence of the substance.”
Jon Jones meanwhile posted the following statement on his Twitter account:
I’m focused on achieving my ultimate goal of reclaiming my Light Heavyweight title. I have willingly submitted to every USADA test in the lead up to this fight and USADA has confirmed what I've been saying all along, that I'm a clean athlete. I sincerely thank the California— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) December 24, 2018
State Athletic Commission and Andy Foster for doing the right thing and supporting me through this process. I cannot wait to fight Alex Gustafsson this Saturday December 29th at the Los Angeles Forum in Inglewood.— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) December 24, 2018
Alexander Gustafsson, Jones’ currently scheduled opponent for UFC 232, reacted to the news with scepticism and promised to defeat Jones in their rematch bout:
Jon Jones’ history of misdemeanours
- May 2012: Jones is arrested for driving under the influence after hitting a pole in the early hours in Binghampton, New York.
- August 2014: Jones and Daniel Cormier engage in a scuffle during a promotional event for UFC 178 in which Jones throws a punch. ‘Bones’ later received a $50,000 fine and was ordered to undergo 40 hours of community service by NSAC.
- January 2015: Jones fails a drug test prior to UFC 182 for a primary metabolite of cocaine. Jones is fined $25,000 for violating the UFC’s Athlete Code of Conduct policy and checks into rehab for one-day.
- April 2015: Jones turns himself into Albuquerque police after a hit-and-run incident which leaves a pregnant woman injured. Jones would initially flee from the scene and marijuana was found in his vehicle. The then light heavyweight champion is later stripped of his UFC title and suspended indefinitely by the promotion. He would ultimately avoid jail time but is required to serve up to 18 months of supervised probation.
- July 2016: Jones is flagged by USADA for a doping violation and is pulled from his UFC 200 main event bout with Cormier on the week of the event. ‘Bones’ is found to have two “hormone and metabolic modulators” in his system and is issued a one-year suspension with his interim title subsequently stripped.
- August 2017: Jones is again flagged by USADA after turinabol is found in his system. Jones sees his UFC 214 knockout win over Daniel Cormier overturned to a no-contest and the light heavyweight title reinstated to Cormier. Jones receives a 15-month suspension from USADA and three months of community service from CSAC.
- December 2018: An ‘atypical finding’ of turinabol is found in a drug test from Jones but is not deemed a drug test failure. UFC 232 is moved states on the week of the event after NSAC cannot grant Jones a licence to fight.