Jon Jones has no option but to submit to additional testing under VADA, per a decision by the California State Athletic Commission ahead of UFC 232.
Yes, you read that right. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was first to report that beleaguered UFC star Jon Jones now has no choice but to submit to enhanced drug testing under VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association). If you recall, earlier this month, Jones said no the additional testing by the organization, as measure suggested but not required by the California State Athletic Commission when they reinstated his license to fight. However, in the wake of an “atypical” test result that showed trace amounts of Turinabol in Jones’ system (mere picograms of a metabolite of the substance), the CSAC has put their put down. Especially given Jones will now be fighting in their jurisdiction, after the UFC chose to move UFC 232 to Los Angeles on a week’s notice to ensure Jones stayed on the card.
Per Okamoto’s report for ESPN, a condition of the California commission allowing the fight to happen in Los Angeles this week is that Jones submit to VADA testing. No testing, no fight. The Nevada commission had refused to license Jones following the test result from earlier this month showing remnants of turinabol metabolites in Jones’ system. A USADA representative speaking on condition of anonymity explained to Cageside Press that the situation was akin to “double jeopardy” given that Jones had already been suspended for Turinabol previously. That, of course, was roughly 18 months ago following UFC 214. USADA has stated that based on expert opinions, the trace amounts of turinabol in Jones’ system don’t represent current usage, but historical.
The California state athletic commission agrees. “Jon Jones is certainly clean right now. That’s not questionable,” CSAC executive director Andy Foster said (via ESPN). “The Nevada commission did not have enough time to get this thing done, but this is not about California taking a fight Nevada would not. And out of respect for Nevada, I’ve kept all the officials working the (title) fight the same as it would have been in Las Vegas.”
Foster added that “this is also not a slight on the USADA program. I have an interest in clearing this narrative out there that Jon Jones is on steroids. We flew him on a plane two days ago to make sure he doesn’t have steroids in his system. There are a lot of people out there saying he is, and that is misinformation.”
The Voluntary Anti-Doping Association has been touted in the past by fighters like Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson and Georges St. Pierre. As part of their testing regime, “Professional athletes will volunteer to be subject to unannounced testing at any time during the eight weeks prior to a scheduled fight. As in the Olympic program, an agreement to participate will require fighters to officially inform us of their daily whereabouts, so that they can be tested per the program.”
UFC 232 now takes place at The Forum in Los Angeles this Saturday, December 29.