Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Wouldn’t Participate In Additional Drug-Testing Asked By Commission
Last week California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) cleared out Jon Jones suspension and granted him a license so he can make his Octagon return against Alexander Gustafsson for the vacant UFC light heavyweight title in the main headliner of UFC 232 PPV event on December 29 in Las Vegas.
Because of his track record, Commission also asked him to enroll in additional Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) drug testing for a period of three months in addition to the USADA testing. Well, it’s not mandatory testing, but merely encouraged to do.
CSAC executive director Andy Foster, who confirmed with MMAJunkie on Wednesday that Jones opted out of additional VADA drug testing.
“I, for one, would like to put the doubts to sleep and to put them away once and for all,” commissioner Martha Shen-Urquidez told Jones at a hearing last week in Sacramento. “And for people to believe you, that you are that talented and that you are the greatest, and that you can win a fight just clean, and that this is Jon Jones, and to put those doubts away once and for all.”
Initially, Jones, 31, and his attorney, Howard Jacobs, agreed to participate in VADA drug testing, with the Commission promising to reimburse the ‘Bones’ if he undergoes the program. Even if he says no to testing his license wouldn’t be taken away. However, Jones attorney asked for further information before committing.
“We need to see what exactly it is that we’re agreeing to, as far as what VADA is testing for, when they test, what their restrictions are,” Jacobs said.
Later MMAFighting also confirmed the news:
“It’s complicated,” Jacobs said. “To say refused is the wrong word. There were issues with the proposal. We asked questions and were unable to fully resolve it.”
In the end, however, Jones and his team decline to the stipulation instead choosing to stick with USADA drug test after further investing what the VADA program would entail. That means they would test ‘Bones’ for performance-enhancers and not “drugs of abuse.”
Jones (22-1, 1 NC) last fought at UFC 214 last year in July where he scores a knockout win over Daniel Cormier. The victory later ruled to no contest when it was announced that ‘Bones’ had flunked the drug test, which returned positive for Turinabol. Later the title was given back to Cormier. Due to of that ‘Bones’ was facing a four-year ban as a second-time offender, but he cooperated with USADA’s every requirement, which led to the reduced in suspension to 15 months by the arbitrator.
Jones will make his long-awaited Octagon return at UFC 232 on December 29, against his formal rival Alexander Gustafsson. Both met the first time at UFC 165 back in 2013 in Toronto. Jones came out victorious via unanimous decision, though many in MMA community felt Gustafsson should have been given the win. Despite that this showdown considered as one of the best in UFC history.
What do you think how Jon Jones will perform against his old rival Gustafsson?