Less than a week before UFC 232, Jon Jones tested positive for trace amounts of Turinabol. It is the same substance found in his system after UFC 214 in July 2017, which led to a 15-month suspension.
With no ample time to conduct a thorough investigation, the Nevada State Athletic Commission refused to license Jones. This urged the UFC to move the fight from Las Vegas to The Forum in Inglewood, when the California State Athletic Commission decided to license the former light heavyweight champion.
Hours later, USADA released an official statement, trying to shed some light and explain the situation.
USADA Statement on Jon Jones Sample and UFC Anti-Doping Policy
USADA informed the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) on Thursday that a urine sample collected by USADA from Jon Jones in an out-of-competition test session on December 9, 2018 was reported by the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City to contain an extremely low level of 4-chloro-18-nor-17β-hydroxymethyl,17α-methyl-5α-androst-13-en-3α-ol (M3), a metabolite of dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (DHCMT), or another chlorine-substituted anabolic steroid.
This is the same substance that was detected in Jones’ positive test from July 28, 2017 and for which he received a 15-month sanction from an independent arbitrator under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy. After examining the scientific literature on this substance and the extensive testing history on Jones and consulting with leading scientific experts, USADA has concluded that the extremely low level of DHCMT in Mr. Jones’ December 9, 2018 sample is consistent with residual amounts from his prior exposure for which he was previously sanctioned.
USADA has also concluded that consistent with the prior finding by the independent arbitrator, at these extremely low levels, Jones obtained no performance enhancement from this level. The level reported was at approximately 60 pg/mL and there was no parent drug or other metabolites of the drug in his sample. As a result of these findings, USADA has determined that Mr. Jones is not facing a violation per the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.
As always, sanctioning bodies for each hosting state have jurisdiction over fighter participation and – taking all facts into account – are able to come to their own conclusions under their rules.
We are confident after consideration of all the evidence and based on science that the resolution of this result under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy is consistent with USADA’s mandate and in the interests of justice.
UFC president Dana White himself stated that Jones was “willing to jump on a plane yesterday” to take a drug test, leading him to believe that nothing wrong was done in this particular situation.