Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White, alongside his VP of Athlete Health and Performance, Jeff Novitzky, sat in front of the mixed martial arts (MMA) media on Sunday and explained why Jon Jones was not in violation of the promotion’s anti-doping policy, despite a recent drug test that returned traces of Turinabol.
Yes, the same substance that led to his 2017 disciplinary suspension.
Novitsky gave some ham-handed explanation about salt cubes and oceans and blah, blah, blah … the point he was trying to make was that yes, they found something, but no, it wasn’t enough to blame on cheating. Instead, it was merely a “pulsing effect” from ingestions gone by.
Nothing more than “low picogram levels” and who the hell would every justify a suspension based on that?!?
17 picograms of ostarine got me 2 years.
— “Filthy” Tom Lawlor (@FilthyTomLawlor) December 23, 2018
Lawlor was tested out of competition, had no fight booked, and no one to stick up for him.
Why? Because “Filthy” was a blue-collar, ass-busting middleweight (and a hit among fans), but not the kind of box-office gorilla who could force White and Co. to change the rules. That would require a championship title, like the one up for grabs this weekend.
Don’t worry, Jones will get no benefits from the lingering Turinabol.
“We went to the state of California and their executive director Andy Foster who is intimately involved with the issue because he had jurisdiction over Jon’s July 2017 positive drug test, understood the issue, relied on USADA and the experts who testified that this was a residual effect and he had no performance enhancing benefit from that,” Novitsky said.
I guess they just figured that out on Sunday, since it had no bearing on the punishment Frank Mir received. And who better to deconstruct his arbitrary execution than the former UFC heavyweight champion, who like Lawlor, took it on the chin back in 2016.
From Mir’s Facebook page:
In the spring of 2016, when USADA representatives sat in my Las Vegas kitchen and told me that the turinabol metabolite that they said I tested positive for could only have been ingested within a window of the past several months, I vehemently proclaimed my innocence. Having never failed any drug test throughout my career, I asked if we could go back further in the past to test any supplements that I could’ve taken, but they claimed that was both impossible and unnecessary. They were firm on their assertion that there was only a recent period of several months that would warrant any consideration. Now, little more than two years later, Jon Jones has tested positive for the same trace of the same banned substance, and USADA is taking the position that this same low level is in fact not a new ingestion, but something that could be the result of a residual “pulsing” effect that could potentially stay in his system “forever”. Further, they are now claiming that this phenomenon is something that they are seeing in other cases as well.
This latest shift in USADA’s position would seem to suggest one of two possibilities…Either they are a) offering special dispensation to Jon Jones or b) they are second guessing and subsequently “revising” the presentation of their own science. Either scenario leaves myself and a number of other fighters whose careers have been similarly damaged by past testing claims to wonder what this says about USADA’s consistency and their tests’ reliability. Sadly, my accusation came at a time when the UFC’s partnership with USADA had not yet been subjected to the kind of doubt that now seems to further cloud it with each new instance of convoluted circumstances.
I miss the old days when we could just blame the Kangaroos.
If this was so easy to
accidentally lose at the lab brush off, then Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) would have granted Jones a license to compete in Las Vegas. But it didn’t, because this is not the kind of thing you can dismiss with promoter-speak or bro-science.
That’s why we’re going back to Cali, to Cali, to Cali (I don’t think so).