The UFC is eroding the delicate balance of trust built with its fans.
An anti-doping sample given by Jon Jones to USADA on December 9th contained a trace amount of turinabol. This revelation came on December 23rd right before UFC 232 fight week begins.
The sample collected by USADA contained only trace elements, in the size of one-50 millionth of a grain of sand.
According to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports:
Nevada Assistant Attorney General, Ed Magaw issued a statement from Jeff Cook, the results management and investigations senior director for USADA:
“Upon careful consideration of the very low concentration of the DHCMT long-term metabolite, the presence of the metabolite is not consistent with re-administration of a prohibited substance, and this very low level would not result in any performance enhancement in relation to Mr. Jones’ upcoming bout.”
Independent experts found that it was a residual effect from a prior situation, perhaps as long as 18 months or longer.
The Brass Tax
UFC President Dana White believes Jones did nothing wrong. UFC VP of Athletic Health and Performance, Jeff Novitzky and General Counsel Hunter Campbell believe the same. Novitsky previously served as an agent for the Food and Drug Administration investigating steroids in pro sports.
“For those who pay attention, in a strange kind of a way, this almost vindicates him in what he’s been saying all along,” Novitzky said to Yahoo Sports. “Now you have USADA saying it in writing. You have [Dr. Daniel] Eichner of SMRTL [a WADA-accredited lab in Salt Lake City] saying it. You have Larry Bowers [former science director of USADA], another respected worldwide anti-doping expert, all of them saying ‘Yep, this guy didn’t do anything wrong.’ ”
According to reports, the evidence is overwhelming that Jones has not ingested any illegal substances. The finding of a picogram of oral turinabol in his system is a phenomenon seen by anti-doping experts.
Jones has passed four tests since agreeing to fight Alexander Gustafsson on Saturday at UFC 232.
However, White made the decision to move the fight to The Forum in Los Angeles. Its original home was the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The move undoubtedly costs the UFC its guaranteed $6 million gate.
The fighters are still flying to Las Vegas and then will be transported and housed in Los Angeles this week.
White told Yahoo Sports, “Jones did nothing wrong and shouldn’t be penalized.”
“You go back home and then have to start a whole new camp again for March [if we postponed it],” White continued. “Why? I can do this. That’s what you have to do. It’s the only fair thing to do for everybody.”
Jones’ opponent, Alexander Gustafsson is from Sweden and has been living in Las Vegas away from his family during Christmas. Both he and Jones have gone through a full training camp. Jones trains in Albuquerque.
Cormier Smells A Rat
However, UFC double champion, Daniel Cormier is not having it.
“DC” took to Twitter to excoriate Jones for being, what he feels he is, a repetitive cheater and he threw State and Federal agencies under the bus along with the UFC.
31.7k Likes, 2,723 Comments – Daniel “DC” Cormier (@dc_mma) on Instagram: “Smh…..”
As of late, Cormier has been a relative company man. With double duty as a star-fighter and on-air personality for the promotion, Cormier is breaking from his norm.
Thanks for the laugh, I needed that night. $150,000 to any charity in Lafayette if he accepts my challenge. Let’s see if his IG stops working again 😩 https://t.co/6LdQW9LfAU
Jones responded quickly which set off a social media war. Clearly, this has only reignited the very real beef the two have with one another.
Still, the question remains, why move the fight out of Nevada if Jones did nothing wrong?