Jon Jones Flew to California for Drug Test to Approve UFC 232 Move
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones flew to California on Saturday to take a drug test, which was necessary to keep his fight intact and facilitate the UFC 232 move from Las Vegas to Los Angeles.
Jones’ UFC 232 headlining light heavyweight championship rematch with Alexander Gustafsson was in jeopardy after he was found to have residual amounts of the banned substance for which he had tested positive in July 2017. UFC officials explained that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, who administered the Dec. 9 drug test showing the residual amount of turanibol, and other worldwide doping experts “told us this was not a re-ingestion of a prohibited substance, it was remaining effects from the July 2017 positive test.”
Despite that information, Nevada State Athletic Commission officials didn’t feel that had an adequate amount of time to review the details of the case and rule in time for Jones to fight on Saturday in Las Vegas. Since the July 2017 case had taken place in California and that state’s officials were much more familiar with Jones’ recent drug testing history, UFC officials broached the idea of moving the event to California in order to keep the UFC 232 main event intact.
As first reported by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the California State Athletic Commission was amenable to the idea, but required Jones to fly to California and submit to another drug test, the results of which it would have expedited prior to his approval.
“I have the results,” CSAC executive director Andy Foster told MMAWeekly.com on Sunday. “(Jones) is clean.”
The move is unprecedented, but will now proceed, as UFC president Dana White announced on ESPN on Sunday.
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“Who has made more mistakes than Jon Jones? The answer is nobody. Jon Jones has got his life together. He did not test positive; he did not do anything wrong here. Gustafsson has flown in from Sweden. He’s been here for weeks training for this fight, spent money. Jon Jones has trained for this fight,” White explained in defending the move to keep the fight intact.
“Neither guy violated any rules or did anything wrong. These guys need to fight; it’s for the title. They should fight. It’s the right thing to do.”