Jon Jones is on the cusp of his return to UFC competition after receiving a heavily reduced USADA suspension for his failed UFC 214 drug test. He still had the matter of getting licensed by the California State Athletic Commission, which oversaw his fight vs. Daniel Cormier last year, and he was granted a temporary license, with full reinstatement hinging upon Jones completing community service.
CSAC also recommended that in addition to Jones being under UFC-USADA drug testing, he also enroll in the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) program. That won’t be happening.
CSAC executive director Andy Foster informed MMAjunkie of Jones’ decision on Wednesday. Earlier this week, Jones’ attorney, Howard Jacobs, said a final decision hadn’t been made. Jacobs did not respond to follow-up requests for comment.
As a sweetener, the commission essentially agreed to pay for the extra effort, subtracting the costs of VADA’s fees from a $205,000 fine Jones paid for a positive steroid test at UFC 214 that also cost him his license. Initially, Jones appeared open to the idea of testing. Jacobs later qualified that his client was “agreeable in principle” to VADA but needed to see the fine print of what was required.
There is no additional penalty for not enrolling, as this was both a recommendation and also VADA has the word “Voluntary” in it.
Jacobs later spoke MMA Fighting about the decision.
“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.”
Unlike USADA, VADA does not produce its own results management, but instead passes results off to sanctioning bodies and athletic commissions. Boxing’s WBC sanctioning body uses year-round VADA testing under the “Clean Boxing Program.” VADA is chaired by Dr. Margaret Goodman, former Nevada Athletic Commission doctor. It is also frequently endorsed by the controversial Victor Conte, of BALCO scandal infamy.
Jones tested positive for turinabol for the Cormier rematch at UFC 214, and the fight was overturned from a KO win to a no-contest, leaving Jon stripped of the light heavyweight title once again. He also failed an out-of-competition USADA test prior to UFC 200, with clomiphene leading to a one-year ban.
Jones vs. Gustafsson 2 is set for December 29th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’ll be the first fight for either man since 2017, and will be for the vacant 205 lbs belt.