Anthony Smith wasn’t surprised by the latest Jon Jones drug test results, and he’s not dwelling on them, either.
Las Vegas, NV — On Thursday, Jon Jones’ latest round of drug test results were released ahead of UFC 235. Once again, there were abnormal test results. More evidence of a metabolite of Turinabol, a banned steroid that Jones tested positive for following UFC 214 in 2017.
Some experts, specifically those consulted by USADA (U.S. Anti-Doping Agency), in particular at the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory in Utah, believe this to be a “pulse” effect. Remnants of the substance from past usage. That opinion factored in the Nevada State Athletic Commission licensing Jones to fight. Of course, others aren’t so sure. But you won’t find Jones’ opponent at UFC 235, Anthony Smith, among the doubters.
“It’s expected,” Smith told media outlets including Cageside Press at Thursday’s open workouts. “I didn’t have any doubt in my mind. For whatever reason, it tends to pulse as it gets closer to the fight. I would have been more shocked if it wasn’t there. It is what it is. I talked to Bob Bennett [NSAC Executive Director], we’re good. We’re good.”
Smith is putting his faith in the system. “I trust in the Nevada State Athletic Commission. I don’t understand the science behind it, it doesn’t make any sense to any of us, right? We’re just regular people. So it doesn’t make sense to me. But Bob Bennet’s been doing this a long time, and I just don’t think that he would put me in a position where someone else starts with a head start.”
It’s more than just blind faith, however. “That’s not me giving Jon a pass,” he added. “Obviously there’s been some sort of indiscretion there. At some point in time, he’s used PEDs, and I don’t think we can argue that. As far as now, I think Jon’s a clean athlete.” So there you have it. At some point, Jones cheated (knowingly or unknowingly, Smith didn’t specify). But again, there’s a reason he’s not jumping on the PED topic as much as past opponents of ‘Bones.’
“I think Cormier and Gustafsson spent a lot of time talking about the negative things Jon Jones does. Who he is as a person, and all the stuff he has going on,” Smith explained. “Listen guys, Jon Jones does a lot of things right. He does a lot of good things. That’s what I’m focused on. All the good things he does are in the octagon. That’s all I care about. All the other stuff is just a distraction.”
Past opponents are a cautionary tale. “Cormier and Gustafsson let that distract them. They let Jon win. I’m not going to let Jon emotionally or mentally beat me. It’s not going to happen.”
Anthony Smith faces Jon Jones this Saturday at UFC 235 in Las Vegas, NV. The lightweight title is on the line in the main event, airing live on PPV.