Earlier this month, Jon Jones met with the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) and was given a license to compete at UFC 232. The event, which Jones is headlining, was moved to California earlier this week after the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) refused to let Jones fight after trace amounts of Turinabol were found in his system.
Jones originally lost his license as the result of sanctions from a failed drug test following his UFC 214 win over Daniel Cormier, testing positive for the same prohibited steroid metabolite. Now, the CSAC, and others such as USADA and UFC executive Jeff Novitzky, has defended Jones in the wake of the new drug testing controversy.
During a recent appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience, Novitzky admitted that Turinabol was found in Jones’ test results between Aug. 29 and Sept. 18. Furthermore, at a media scrum, Novitzky admitted that the California commission were unaware of those earlier test results until last week.
The NSAC, meanwhile, found out about the adverse test results in early December. Novitsky says the NSAC was made aware of the situation first because while the CSAC granted Jones the license to fight, UFC 232 was originally set to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“Nevada knew at that time, but California didn’t,” Novitzky said. “I mean, hey, in hindsight, maybe [USADA should have told CSAC]. I’m definitely a proponent in as much transparency as possible. Unfortunately, how do you think of every scenario?
I think in USADA’s mind, they had no obligation to let Nevada know about this at all. It wasn’t within their jurisdiction. I think out of an abundance of caution, they did it. Could they have given it to [CSAC] as well? I think potentially.
CSAC head Andy Foster confirmed with MMA Fighting that the commission had no knowledge of the adverse findings until last week.
Novitzky claims Jones had clean four tests between September and November before the traces of the M3 metabolite of Turinabol returned in a Dec. 9 test. The NSAC refused to let Jones fight based on that finding and test results from the past 18 months. Jones will have to meet with the NSAC next month.
He added the mixed results of Jones’ test are “pulsing” considering the tiny amount of Turinabol found in his body. The CSAC agreed to let Jones still fight, believing his innocence based on the advice of scientists, experts and USADA. Novitzky further stated USADA didn’t inform the NSAC following the August and September tests to allow due process.
“The way USADA adjudicates the program is they’re very conscious of the fairness and due process afforded the athletes,” Novitzky said. “I take a lot of pride in that. I say this very often that having a strong, comprehensive program is important, but just as important is being fair and having due process afforded to the athletes. So I think in their thought, if they notified Nevada of this right away, when they had even an inkling that, ‘Hey, maybe this is an issue, a remnant issue, not a subsequent violation,’ they’ve gotta be very careful, because a commission could go off on their own and use the adversely against the athlete.
Again, ideally, would we have liked to have it earlier? Yes. But they took a lot of care into consideration and reaching out to all the experts and vetting the issues out here. And again, I think they did the right thing.
Original Story: MMA Fighting