It wasn’t long ago that Jon Jones was celebrating his UFC return and regaining his light heavyweight championship at UFC 232.
The 205-pound king celebrated again afterwards when his drug tests revealed him to be clean, effectively silencing (at least a portion of) his critics following his prefight issues. Jones had tested positive for a trace metabolite of oral Turinabol leading up to his return, causing the entire card to be moved from Nevada to California.
Jones had already been involved in arbitrations with the California commission over his original suspension for Turinabol which occurred in the summer of 2017. Jones was granted a license to fight after going through arbitration procedures, but not before he was required to take additional tests as part of the deal.
The lingering materials in his system were deemed to be the result of a “pulsing effect,” which experts say had no performance-enhancing benefits. They said it didn’t make sense to suspend Jones again for a violation he’d already been suspended for.
Jones is the only athlete in UFC history to be drug tested by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), who is the UFC’s official anti-doping partner, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC), and now the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA).
But it seems VADA testing has revealed another abnormality – the presence of trace amounts of Turinabol yet again. But CSAC executive director Andy Foster is sticking by the statements they made before.
He said: “I spoke with the scientists. They stand by their original statement. Nothing has changed. We’ve already punished Jon Jones for the M3 metabolite, which is a long-term metabolite. There’s no grounds to charge somebody twice for the same violation.”
Swearing by the lab director’s word that it wasn’t a new ingestion, Foster seemed certain in his claims. But this doesn’t mean he, Jones, and the UFC will escape flack. Jones has now tested positive for performance enhancers and trace amounts of them on multiple different occasions – yet he remains an active member of the roster, and is set to face Anthony Smith on March 2.
But in order to make it there, Jones must first go through a hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC). The commission had refused to sanction Jones for UFC 232, a move UFC president Dana White attributed to the business of the holiday season. Jones would need to get a license from the hearing in order to be able to fight in Nevada again.
But what does Smith think about all this? Does he feel comfortable competing against an athlete many people claim is chemically enhanced? Smith said he didn’t care about the results. He said he knew what he was getting into when he signed up, and that he was good.
Of course, Jones’s last opponent said the same think. And while Alexander Gustafsson hasn’t complained about Jones’s alleged steroid use, he was still finished in the third round via strikes.