Report: Jon Jones Won't Be Punished for Trace PED Found in UFC 232 Test

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2019

FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2018, file photo, Jon Jones talks in New York about his mixed martial arts light heavyweight bout against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232.  Jones is defiantly defending his role in the decision to move UFC 232 from Nevada to California on six days’ notice after he tested positive for low levels of a banned steroid. The former light heavyweight champion gave a passionate, occasionally bizarre performance Thursday at a news conference ahead of his title fight against Sweden’s Alexander Gustafsson at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., on Saturday night. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) will not punish Jon Jones even though a drug test administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) found trace amounts of long-term oral Turinabol metabolites in his system.

Marc Raimondi of MMA Fighting reported the news, noting the urine sample was collected at weigh-ins for UFC 232, where he defeated Alexander Gustafsson to regain the UFC light heavyweight belt. However, CSAC executive officer Andy Foster said the presence of the long-term M3 metabolite was the same one he was suspended 15 months for from a July 2017 sample taken around UFC 214.

Foster stressed subsequent drug tests have come back clean, which is why Jones will not be punished.

"I spoke with the scientists," Foster said. "They stand by their original statement. Nothing has changed. We've already punished Jon Jones for the M3 metabolite, which is a long-term metabolite. There's no grounds to charge somebody twice for the same violation."

Raimondi explained Foster checked with Dr. Daniel Eichner multiple times, who reiterated his previous stance that there was no evidence suggesting Jones had re-taken the performance-enhancers since his 15-month suspension.

Despite that statement from the lab director of the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory (SMRTL), the Nevada State Athletic Commission didn't grant Jones a license to fight in Las Vegas, where UFC 232 was initially scheduled to take place. That is because the metabolite was present in multiple tests administered between August and December 2018.

As a result, the match with Gustafsson was moved to Inglewood, California, where Jones won via third-round TKO and improved to 23-1 with 16 wins by stoppage.

While he is one of the best UFC fighters ever to step foot in the Octagon, questions about performance-enhancing drugs have become the norm surrounding him. Raimondi noted he was also suspended one year when he tested positive for the anti-estrogen agents clomiphene and letrozole in 2016.

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