Ahead of UFC 232, several Jon Jones drug tests turned up trace amounts of the banned substance turinabol. Despite these test anomalies, the light heavyweight legend was still allowed to fight — albeit in Los Angeles, not Las Vegas — and ultimately defeated Alexander Gustafsson in the card’s main event.
Unfortunately, it was learned earlier this week that a drug test administed by Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) on the night of the UFC 232 weigh-ins also turned up traces of turinabol in Jones’ system.
While the California State Athletic Commission has opted not to punish Jon Jones for this positive VADA test, Alexander Gustafsson and his team are understandably not pleased, and feel Jones has essentially been given a ‘use exemption.’
On Thursday, Gustafsson’s manager Nima Safapour released a statement on the issue to MMA Fighting.
“The inconclusive and inconsistent results that are repeatedly occurring with Jon Jones, at the very least, should compel our industry to have a greater, deeper, and more impartial discussion about the legitimacy of Jon’s defense. Jon has gone out publicly boasting when some of his results come back negative. However, he remains silent when his test results come back positive. You can not have it both ways and cherry-pick the results that are favorable for you, and insist that we disregard the results that go against your interests.
“Jon has essentially received a use exemption on a strict liability violation. The science is not certain on the defense he has taken. Furthermore, science is always in a state of change. So the science we rely on today is different than the science we relied on from just a few years ago. It will probably change again going forward. Jones is also creating a precedent that will go beyond his personal interests in the sense that now other fighters will also seek use exemptions on a strict liability violation based on an issue that the science community is still divided on. It’s an absolute mess.”
What do you think of this statement from Alexander Gustafsson and his team? What do you think the future holds for Jon Jones? Join the conversation in the comments section below.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 1/24/2019.