Jeff Novitzky says turinabol has been detected on several Jon Jones tests dating back to August

Jeff Novitzky, UFC 232
Image: Puffpuffpost.com

Speaking on the Joe Rogan Experience on Thursday, UFC VP of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky revealed that small amounts of the banned substance turinabol have been appearing sporadically on Jon Jones drug tests since as early as August.

Novitzky ran through a few tests dates and shared the corresponding results.

This divulgence from Novitzky, of course, is completely contrary to the recent comments of UFC President Dana White.

Novitzky also explained why the Nevada State Athletic Commission ultimately decided not to license Jon Jones for UFC 232, prompting the UFC to move the entire card to Los Angeles.

“I think it was December 6th, [USADA] sent a letter to us and they sent a letter to the Nevada state athletic commission saying, ‘Just you’re aware, over the last six months, early in this six months we’ve seen a reemergence of this long-term in Jon’s samples.’” Novitzky said on the Joe Rogan Experience (transcript via MMA Fighting).

“USADA didn’t need to notify them. They thought, out of an abundance of caution, let’s let Nevada know that this issue exists.

“That’s all good, Nevada gets this. I talk with them, they’re like, ‘Whoa, this is concerning, but we don’t see anything in our jurisdiction here, so I certainly hope that no subsequent tests show up positive because that could be an issue.’ And sure enough, USADA collects a sample from Jon on 12/9, they expedited the results because they knew a fight was coming up and they do that now when fights are close or the collections are done close to a fight, and here he pulses back up to between 60 and 80 picograms.

“There’s some misconception out there,” Novitzky continued. “[The NAC] did not say this fight is absolutely not happening next week. In fact, they, I think, were understanding of these issues but said, ‘Look, optically, this doesn’t look great, and we feel that, out of an abundance of caution, that we need to have a public hearing and be very transparent about this, because this is some weird shit.’”

Whatever the case, Jeff Novitzky assures that none of these recent drug tests have revealed levels of turinabol significant enough to be considered “performance-enhancing.”

“Look, I’m not an expert,” Novitzky said. “I don’t profess to be. My background is in finance and accounting. I traced the money back in the old days, but I know who those experts are out there in the world, and these are them. They’re, by putting these things in writing, putting their reputations on the line now and forever going forward. They’re not going to do something like that because the UFC pays USADA to administer a program or because Jon Jones is a popular fighter and they want to see him fight this weekend. That’s just not the way this world works. … Experts like this are very, very conservative when it comes to talking in absolutes like this. They don’t normally do it.

“These experts said based on these low levels of picograms, there’s no performance-enhancing benefit, and that’s an important point,” Novitzky continued. “Because if you would’ve told UFC, ‘Look, this is still remnants from a year-and-a-half ago, but we can’t rule out that he’s not getting a performance-enhancing benefit from it’ — well, in that instance, I’ll tell you and I stand by this, I would leave this company if somebody told me otherwise. If there was any indication that there would be a benefit from them even though it technically wasn’t a violation, I’m not going to stand by while anybody licenses that guy to fight.”

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This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 12/28/2018.