Ahead of UFC 235, Jon Jones’ Latest Drug Test Results a Mixed Bag

Jon Jones and Anthony Smith UFC
Jon Jones and Anthony Smith Credit: Mike Sloan/Sherdog.com

Jones Jones’ many drug tests ahead of UFC 235 are a mixed back of results, with abnormal findings in two tests during the month of February.

The tests are as confusing as ever. Bewildering, to many. Once again, Jon Jones has been determined to have abnormal drug test results ahead of a championship fight. Or, more accurately, “adverse analytical findings,” according to a statement released by the Nevada Athletic Commission on Thursday. MMA Junkie was among multiple media outlets to report on the findings. Jones fights this Saturday at UFC 235, opposite Anthony Johnson.

Adverse analytical findings is an interesting way to say failed, but there’s more to it than that. According to the comission’s report, “Dr. Daniel Eichner, President and Laboratory Director of SMRTL, reviewed the above investigative reports and determined that they show no evidence that dehydrocholormethyltestosterone (DHCMT) has been re-administered.”

In short, it was more evidence of a “pulse” of a turinabol metabolite in Jones’ bloodstream, the same issue that arose prior to UFC 232. No one quite knows how long this situation will go on for. No one knows what caused his original test failure, either. What USADA (the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, in charge of the UFC’s anti-doping program) and the Nevada Commission do believe, however is in Dr. Eichner. In particular, his belief that there is no new evidence of doping. It was that opinion, prior to UFC 232, that allowed Jon Jones to fight.

A USADA official later explained to Cageside Press that failing Jones again would be a double jeopardy type situation.

SMRTL is the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory, a WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) accredited facility. Located at the University of Utah, the lab has tested Olympic athletes. They were involved in the Canelo Avarez case.

Jones is just the latest high-profile athlete they’ve tested. This time around, Jones’ samples collected/tested by USADA and VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association) on February 1st and 9th, respectively, passed. He then failed a pair of tests of samples collected by the NSAC on the 14th and 15th of the month. Another VADA sample, on February 18th, passed. The SMRTL lab, and specifically Dr. Eichner, reviewed the reports.

He found they were in line with the existing theory. Beyond that, “there is no scientific or medical evidence that the athlete (Jones) would have an unfair advantage leading up to, or for, his contest scheduled on March 2, 2019.” Thus states the NSAC report. And so Jones fights on.

The test results, positive or negative, are unlikely to sway anyone. Fans have their minds set, one way or the other. What will be more interesting than yet another set of iffy tests, however, is where things are in a year. Or two. Or five. If Jones is still testing, how long will this pulse effect last? Will other fighters experience it?

For now, onward to UFC 235.