Ahead of UFC 232, several Jon Jones drug tests detected trace amounts of the banned substance turinabol, which prompted the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) to deny the light heavyweight legend a license. This forced the UFC to move the entire UFC 232 card to Los Angeles, California, as the more lenient California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) was willing to license Jones.
Since then, a Voluntary Anti Doping Agency (VADA) test administered on the night of the UFC 232 weigh-ins has once again detected the same banned substance in the system of Jon Jones. Despite this new information, however, the CSAC will not be punishing Jones, maintaining that the anomalies on his test results are due to his previous ingestion of a banned substance — for which he’s already been punished.
Bellator President Scott Coker, who frequently promotes fights in California and works closely with the CSAC, has not been impressed with the way the Commission has handled this situation.
“From a company standpoint, I think it’s very disappointing,” Coker told reporters at a scrum ahead of Bellator 214 (via MMAjunkie). “You go out there, and you put your reputation on the line for health and safety and all the weight-cutting things.
“We’ve always supported the commission and will continue to support the commission,” he continued. “But listen, if a fighter has (performance-enhancing drugs) in him, he’s got PEDs in him. That’s how I feel.
“To be the judge, jury and executioner now – it’s a little bit challenging for me to accept, but it is what it is,” Coker concluded. “We’re going to go by the commission rules, and we will continue. But I don’t think that was the right call and that was (CSAC Director Andy Foster’s) call to make. And, really, the commission for 32 years, I’ve been with the California state commission, I think this is one of the few times I’ve said, ‘Hey, this is not right.’ We’ll see what happens with that.”
Shortly after Scott Coker made these comments about the Jon Jones situation, Foster issues a retort via MMAjunkie.
“I like Bellator, and I like Scott Coker. The Bellator staff are a pleasure to work with,” Foster wrote of the Jon Jones situation. “Having said that and very respectfully, Mr. Coker has not reviewed the science documents that I have and, to my knowledge, has not spoken to the scientists who are the world’s foremost anti-doping experts on this subject. My decision was based on the conclusions of scientists. The scientists say there’s no re-administration. I’m relying on the expertise and experience of scientists. If or when the scientists tell me something different, I will alter executive discretion accordingly.”
What do you think of this drama involving the CSAC and Jon Jones? Are you with Scott Coker on this one?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 1/25/2019.