UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has gotten over his final hurdle for his return.
On Tuesday, the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) held a hearing for the likes of Jones as well as UFC lightweights Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
For Jones, he was looking to get re-licensed in the state of Nevada which is where his last fight at UFC 232 was supposed to be held. That was until he wasn’t licensed due to the ‘atypical finding‘ in one of his drug tests.
But now, Jones is good to go for his next bout which will come against Anthony Smith on March 3 at UFC 235 in Las Vegas. Assuming there’s no extra funny business that is…
“Jon Jones is cleared to fight in Nevada again. Even if he tests positive for picogram levels of M3 steroid metabolite, he’ll be cleared … as long as they don’t increase in a way to raise suspicion. Nevada is going to test him regularly, in addition to all other tests he has.” ESPN’s Brett Okamoto tweeted.
Having had to work very closely on the situation/situations over the recent years involving Jones, USADA made an official statement regarding the NAC licensing (via ESPN).
“We agree with and support the NAC decision today to license Jon Jones to fight in Nevada and while USADA does not have jurisdiction over the licensing, we appreciate being able to collaborate with the NAC to ensure a fair outcome,” USADA spokesperson Adam Woullard said in a statement. “This decision is the same conclusion we reached based on the facts and science under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and the California Commission reached under its rules. The NAC conducted a hearing, weighed the facts, listened to the independent experts, and appropriately determined that the trace amounts of M3 found in Jones’ samples were residual and provided no performance-enhancing benefit and respected the principle of double jeopardy.
“Anti-doping cases in all sports are sometimes complex and a fair system must look at each one individually, taking all evidence into account to reach a just conclusion ensuring intentional cheats are punished. We look forward to coordinating efforts with the NAC to ensure our programs complement one another moving forward.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/29/2019