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Jon Jones enrolls in VADA program as CSAC requirement to fight at UFC 232

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Jon Jones no longer has a choice regarding additional drug testing with VADA if he wants to still fight Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232.

Jon Jones is now in not just one but two drug-testing programs.

Jones enrolled in the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) program on Monday, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported. He is also in the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) program, which is mandatory for all UFC fighters.

After ESPN’s report, California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) executive director Andy Foster confirmed to Bloody Elbow on Monday that enrolling in VADA — a voluntary program — was a requirement for Jones’ rematch against Alexander Gustafsson to be approved for UFC 232 on Saturday in the Los Angeles area. Foster did not further comment on Jones’ enrollment and why it was a requirement at the time of this writing.

VADA did not immediately return a request for comment.

According to its website, VADA is an “organization that will offer and promote effective anti-doping practices and programs in boxing and mixed martial arts.” Athletes can voluntarily enroll in its program for additional drug testing on top of mandatory testing from a state commission or the promotion for which they fight.

Jones is the first MMA fighter to be enrolled in both USADA and VADA drug-testing programs.

UFC 232 was moved to Los Angeles from Las Vegas on Sunday, because of an abnormal finding in a recent Jones drug test. “Bones” tested positive for a trace amount of Turinabol, the same steroid metabolite he failed a drug test for in August 2017 after a rematch with Daniel Cormier. He served a 15-month suspension, which ended in October, for that positive test.

USADA determined that the new failure was a result of last year’s positive test, not a new ingestion, so it wasn’t considered a violation of the UFC’s anti-doping program. Nevada did not license Jones to fight on Saturday, however, so the entire event was moved to California, where Jones is free to compete.

CSAC granted Jones a temporary license on Dec. 11 after it was revoked earlier this year because of his August 2017 positive test. At the recent hearing, a commissioner recommended Jones enroll himself in 3-4 months of additional drug testing with VADA, but Jones last week opted against that. Now he doesn’t have a choice.

Per ESPN, all costs associated with Jones’ enrollment will be covered by Jones’ $205,000 fine from CSAC after his 2017 positive test.

Jones meets Gustafsson for the UFC light heavyweight title in the main event of UFC 232, which now takes place at The Forum in Inglewood. The card also features Cris Cyborg vs. Amanda Nunes.