UFC 232 MOVES FROM LAS VEGAS TO LA, FIGHTER REACTIONS & JON JONES MAKES AN APOLOGY STATEMENT ON HIS DRUG TEST ISSUE
Las Vegas, NV (December 24th, 2018)– The UFC 232 card, which will be headlined by the former longtime champion Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson, has been moved to the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. from the original location of T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, after Jones’ Nevada Athletic Commission license was denied due to an abnormal USADA test result.
The NAC will not license Jones to fight Alexander Gustafsson on Dec. 29 due to a drug-testing abnormality. Per a statement from the commission, after an analysis of 18 months of Jones drug-test results, the NAC has determined that Jones will have to come before the commission for a hearing in January. He will not be able to fight next weekend in Nevada.
“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,” the commission statement read. “We look forward to his hearing.”
The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) has already granted Jones a license. CSAC executive officer Andy Foster told MMA Fighting that the abnormality in Jones’ test results comes from his positive drug test back in July 2017. Jones was suspended 15 months for that failed test for a steroid metabolite.
“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.”
Foster said Jon Jones flew to California this weekend to be drug tested and the results have already come back negative.
“He’s a clean athlete,” Foster said.
USADA released a statement Sunday saying that it notified the Nevada commission Thursday about an “extremely low” amount of the prohibited substance 4-chloro-18-nor-17β-hydroxymethyl,17α-methyl-5α-androst-13-en-3α-ol (M3) found in Jones’ system stemming from an out-of-competition Dec. 9 sample collection. That’s the same substance Jones tested positive for in July 2017. USADA determined that the trace is “consistent with residual amounts from his prior exposure for which he was previously sanctioned.” USADA said it has agreed with the independent arbitrator who previously felt Jones was getting no performance-enhancing benefits from those levels. Jones is not facing any further sanction from USADA.
USADA Statement on Jon Jones Sample and UFC Anti-Doping Policy
6:46 PM – Dec 23, 2018
634 people are talking about this
Twitter Ads info and privacy
UFC 232 was supposed to take place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Since California will license Jones and Nevada will not, the entire card will be moved to The Forum in Inglewood, Calif.
“There’s been no violation of the anti-doping program,” UFC vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky told reporters Sunday. “He’s been cleared to fight in terms of the USADA program. … USADA fully analyzed it internally. They reached out to outside experts from around the world. They reached out to another sports league that has seen the same issue. And all of them, independent of us, determined that this was not a re-ingestion of the substance and this very, very small amount that was occurring and still showing up, according to these expects from around the world, did not provide any performance-enhancing benefit.
“Not much is known about this longterm metabolite. The parent compound is not approved for human use anywhere in the world … but what both USADA and other entities are seeing is that a recurrence, or potential ‘pulsing,’ where you have multiple negative tests and then a positive one for a very low amount – they’re seeing that quite commonly over time. And no one knows how long this could last – it could potentially last forever (in Jones’ system).”
Jones tested positive for the metabolite in relation to UFC 214 in July 2017. He had his license revoked by the California commission back in February and was fined $205,000. In his case with USADA, Jones was suspended 15 months after facing a four-year ban.
USADA reduced the suspension to 18 months after Jones provided “substantial assistance,” or cooperation in another case, whether it be anti-doping or criminal. Arbitrator Richard McLaren shortened it further to 15 months with the belief that Jones did not knowingly cheat, which the former UFC champion has adamantly said all along.
CSAC granted Jones his license back earlier this month. One California commissioner Martha Shen-Urquidez proposed that Jones enroll with the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency to fully clear his name in a program without a financial relationship to the UFC. Jones’ team decided to decline that proposal last week.
‘He tested positive again!’: Fighters react to latest Jon Jones drug news
Jon Jones issues first statements following UFC 232 location change
Jon Jones drug-test finding, UFC 232 moving to California reaction
Daniel Cormier calls USADA, UFC, CSAC officials ‘jokes’
I’m focused on achieving my ultimate goal of reclaiming my Light Heavyweight title. I have willingly submitted to every USADA test in the lead up to this fight and USADA has confirmed what I’ve been saying all along, that I’m a clean athlete. I sincerely thank the California
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) December 24, 2018
State Athletic Commission and Andy Foster for doing the right thing and supporting me through this process. I cannot wait to fight Alex Gustafsson this Saturday December 29th at the Los Angeles Forum in Inglewood.
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) December 24, 2018
Later on Sunday evening, Jon Jones issued an apology via an Instagram story. See the full transcript below:
“How’s it going everybody? It’s your boy ‘Bones’ Jones here. I just wanted to take the time out to apologize to the fans for what is going on. This is a situation that is completely out of my control. But I still will man up and apologize for this happening. I realize there’s a lot of people who lost out in this situation. People came from Sweden, people came from Brazil, other fighters, I feel you guys’ frustration. Today has been a hell of a day. A hell of a day. Big shock to us all. Spent tears today because I can feel the frustration of the fans and I’m going to do what I can to try to make it right for at least some of you guys. I’ve already taken care of some flights and some tickets for people. So I’m doing what I can to make this right. I just really want to ensure you guys that this is not a mistake I made. Completely out of my control. But I do feel you guys’ pain and I am sincerely sorry. Love you guys and God bless you guys and I guess I’ll see some of you in California. And that’s about it. Alright, I’m gonna try to get some sleep.”
FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM: @REALCOMBATMEDIASPORTS
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @REALCOMBATMEDIA
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: REALCOMBATMEDIA