Jon Jones has tested positive for trace amounts of a prohibited substance stemming from an out-of-competition Dec. 9 sample collection. It’s apparently the same substance (turnibol) Jones tested positive for in July 2017. Here’s the official USADA statement.
Because of this the entire UFC 232 card has been moved from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., on just six days notice. The UFC is refunding ticket buyers, but all those who made travel arrangements and bought plane tickets are left to fend for themselves.
Jones will still be allowed to fight, just not in Nevada. Apparently they did not have enough time to investigate the situation. But Jones can fight in California due to the California State Athletic Commission already being familiar with his case from his July 2017 test failure and suspension.
According to Jeff Novitsky, the UFC’s Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance, Jones had taken multiple tests prior to the one that revealed the trace amounts of the prohibited substance. If this was leftover residue from Jones’s July 2017 violation, in which the official statement at that time was that he ingested it unintentionally, then why did it just now show up and not on the previous tests that he had taken leading up to this UFC 232 fight? Seems odd.
The above video with Novitsky and Dana White giving their statement and answering questions to Yahoo Sports and MMAJunkie is not confidence inspiring. It feels like they are talking to their own employees. It feels like a propaganda piece. That is simply an opinion.
The good news is that fans will still get to see Jon Jones fight Alexander Gustafsson in the UFC 232 main event. But no matter how much he accomplishes within the sport it seems there’s always going to be and asterisk by his name. He just can’t seem to escape the controversy.
Here’s another question. How does Gustafsson feel about this? How do all the fighters on the card feel about having the event moved because of one single person who “unknowingly ingested a prohibited substance” over 18 months ago? It’s just amazing the enormous ramifications one fighter’s actions can have on so many people and the lengths that are being gone to to keep Jones on the card.
Having said that, we will all still likely be watching because we love this sport. MMA fans aren’t as stupid as they think we are. We can all read between the lines. Even if we choose not to sometimes.
Here’s a few reactions from Jones’s fellow UFC fighters: