UFC extends contract with USADA, drug testing to increase by ’30 to 40 percent’

Jeff Novitzky, UFC 232
Image: Puffpuffpost.com

It’s been a wild week for the UFC and USADA.

After an ‘atypical finding’ in one of Jon Jones’ drug tests leading up to his next fight at UFC 232 on Saturday night, it prompted the UFC to relocate the whole event as the Nevada State Athletic Commission wouldn’t grant Jones a license.

Since the news has come out and the shakeup went down, the UFC, USADA and the UFC VP of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky have all found themselves under fire.

However, Novitzky today revealed that the partnership won’t be dissolving anytime soon and drug testing will only be utilized more frequently.

“USADA came to us and said, ‘hey, we think you should up the amount of testing that you are doing,’ So we just renewed the contract with USADA and we are increasing our testing numbers between 30 to 40 percent,” Novitzky said on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. “Currently, the first three years of the program under contract were approximately 700 tests and starting this next year we are going to up that to around 4300-4400 tests. It’s going to be more of a burden, there is going to be USADA showing up at more doorsteps early in the morning for more of our athletes but I think this is a perfect example that that increased volume in the testing can actually be a protection to the athlete.”

In regards to Jones who is in the center of all the criticism, Novitzky addressed him as well.

“One thing that obviously protected Jon a lot, in this case, was the frequency of testing,” Novitzky explained. “If you look at his numbers, these were instances that they collected samples but in many of these cases, they did multiple tests on him. In reality, Jon was one of the most tested, if not the most tested athlete over these last six months when you look at the total amount of tests. One thing that protected him was that volume of testing.”

Jones will be rematching Alexander Gustafsson in the main event of UFC 232 on Saturday night in the Los Angeles Forum.

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 12/27/2018