Jeff Novitzky details how Jon Jones can avoid a lengthy suspension

By Chris Taylor - October 6, 2017

Jon Jones could potentially return to the octagon in 2018 if everything goes his way.

Jon Jones

“Bones” was stripped of his UFC light heavyweight title shortly following his knockout victory over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214, this after he came back positive for banned substances in a drug test administered by USADA.

It was initially thought that “Bones” would be out of action for 2-4 years, depending on the pending suspension he received from USADA.

However, according to UFC vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky, Jones could receive very little punishment if his team can prove that his positive test stemmed from taking a tainted supplement by accident.

“Jon tested positive from a sample collection done weigh in day before the UFC event in Anaheim that was in July. Basically he was just coming off a one year suspension. The previous suspension went to arbitration. So you had three different independent arbitrators looking at it. All of them ruled that he did not purposely use anything to enhance his performance. But, they also ruled that he operated with careless and wreckless disregard for what he took and ended up getting contaminated. So there was really no reduction in sanction and so he got a one year sanction from that previous one. Now unfortunately on this one, because of that previous sanction, he’s now looking at a second sanction which would basically double your penalty. The substance that he tested positive for was a metabolite of an anabolic steroid.”

Mr. Novitzky continued:

“That was a substance where a few years ago would only be detectable for a few days within the system. Now laboratories have found longtime metabolites tests, where metabolites can be detected four maybe up to six months after use. However, Jon [Jones] submitted clean tests on July 6 and July 7 of 2017. His positive test was from July 29. A simple Google search would show you that this substance, it’s detection window has now moved out from four to six months. So, it doesn’t make a lot of sense that anybody with any level of sophistication would choose to use this drug. I had to have been used after July 7, or entered his system after July 7. It would not make sense to go to this drug because of the multi-month detection window. So, that would leave me to believe that it was probably from non-purposeful ingestion.”

Novitzy says that Jon Jones team is working hard to prove his innocence and that the UFC is assisting in this process.

“So where we are at is that Jon’s team is working hard. We (the UFC) are assisting them wherever we can to try to determine how this substance got into his system. Sometimes that is not a quick process. It can take weeks, if not months of testing supplements and retracing your steps.

He continued:

“Best case scenario is if he (Jones) can prove that this (substance) thing came from something that was not high risk.”

Novitzky explained that there has been several cases in Mexico and China where positive tests stemmed from ingesting meat that came from cattle which were given certain substances. In an instance like that, USADA has given “no fault sanctions” to the fighters, meaning there was no punishment or suspension.

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