UFC VP Novitzky Clarifies Misleading Headlines
Last week, the UFC’s Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance, Jeff Novitzky commented on Jon Jones’ status with the UFC and whether or not he will be suspended.
It seems that Novtizky’s quotes from Bruce Buffer’s podcast It’s Time were taken out of context by MMA News sites, with some claiming that he was in-fact the head of USADA, which is in no way correct.
On Tuesday, Novitzky sent a statement to the website MMA Fighting in an attempt to clarify what were considered to be “misleading” headlines.
“The headline and corresponding article took excerpts from an interview I did last week, where I was asked about the status of Jon Jones’ pending case,” Novitzky wrote in the statement. “I indicated that Jon’s camp, the UFC and USADA were all working hard and together to determine the source of the prohibited substance in Jon’s system. That is still the case.
“I stated that this is often a lengthy process that can take up to several months to complete, but that possible sanctions based on the findings of a completed case ranged from a multi-year suspension, to a minimal, or no-fault sanction, if an unavoidable ingestion of the prohibited substance was determined.”
Following his victory over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214, Jones tested positive for the steroid Turinabol in an in-competition sample. With this being his second offense, Jones is facing up to a four-year suspension from USADA. The former UFC light heavyweight champion tested positive for two banned substances in 2016, clomiphene and Letrozol, and was handed a one-year suspension by arbitrators.
At UFC 214, Jones defeated Daniel Cormier by third-round TKO to regain the UFC light heavyweight title. He was stripped by the UFC last month when the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) overturned the victory to a no contest after the B sample confirmed the positive drug test. Cormier has been given back the belt.
Per what Novitzky did say to Buffer was that there are signs that could point to unintentional ingestion based on the fact that Jones passed random, out-of-competition drug tests in early July and fighters anticipate the in-competition tests more than the random, out-of-competition ones.
“While all parties are hoping to find evidence of the unintentional or unavoidable use of the prohibited substance, at no time during the interview did I indicate that there were developments leading in that direction, as was the inference of the headline,” Novitzky said.