The much-awaited UFC 232 has been shifted from Las Vegas from the state of Nevada to Los Angeles, California after a very abnormal finding in his drug test forced the Nevada State Athletic Commission not giving Jon Jones a license to compete for this weekend’s mega fight against Alexander Gustafsson.
The news was first reported by Brett Okamoto of ESPN. According to NSAC, a recent urine sample collected from the American led to an “atypical finding”.
Jone Jones’s urine sample found traces of Turinabol in his system. This is the same drugs he got banned for when he tested positive for it last year after he won his fight against Daniel Cormier at UFC 214. He was later suspended for 15-months.
According to ESPN, the USADA determined Jones’s positive test this time around was because of a residual amount of the substance that lingered in Jones’s system from 2017. However, Nevada didn’t want to rush the investigation and decided against granting Jones a license.
“Jon Jones will be allowed to withdraw his pending application for licensure, which was intended to clear him to fight in a major contest in Nevada later this month,” the NSAC said in a statement.
“After extensive analysis of Mr. Jones’ prior 18 months of USADA in and out-of-competition anti-doping drug testing results, Director Bennett, Chair Marnell and Mr. Jones agree that he will appear at an evidentiary hearing in January. This will allow for a measured, thoughtful and comprehensive discussion of his anti-doping testing protocol and results and provide an opportunity for the NSAC to determine the appropriate path forward for him in Nevada.”
However, the Nevada State Athletic Commission doesn’t have the jurisdiction in the state of Califonia, where Jones has already been granted a license. The California state athletic commission has granted him a license and the fight will take place at The Forum in Inglewood.
The director of CSAC, Andy Foster said that the abnormality in his drug test comes from the positive test back in 2017 and now Jones flew to California to have his drug test and it has already come back negative.
“We’ve got a statement from three different scientists, from the [WADA-accredited] lab director [at SMRTL in Salt Lake City] saying there’s no evidence of any new ingestion,” Foster said. “This isn’t a new thing. This is what he’s been punished for already. He’s already served his time on this.”
“He’s a clean athlete,” Foster said.
This is how UFC VP of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky described the size of Jones’s trace, per MMA Junkie:
“A picogram is a one-trillionth of a gram,” Novitzky said. “If you put one grain of salt on the table and split it up into 50 million pieces, a picogram is one of those pieces of that gram of salt. These levels have shown up in the single and double digits of picograms – so such a small amount.”
United States Anti-doping agency notified NSAC about an extremely low amount of prohibited substance in Jones’s system from a sample taken on Dec. 9 which according to USADA is “consistent with residual amounts from his prior exposure for which he was previously sanctioned.”
The sample was collected out-of-competition and is 4-chloro-18-nor-17β-hydroxymethyl,17α-methyl-5α-androst-13-en-3α-ol (M3).
This move from UFC to abruptly move one of the biggest fight cards of 2018 will be a nightmare for the fans who have shelled out a lot of money to attend this mega event.