Following a hearing on December 11, Jon Jones was granted a temporary license by the California State Athletic Commission. Jones’ recent drug testing controversy led to the UFC moving the event away from Nevada, and this very license made him eligible to compete in California on Saturday night.
According to USADA’s original statement about the controversy, Jones’ sample from December 9 tested positive for a turinabol metabolite, and they informed the Nevada Athletic Commission on the 20th. These events led to the UFC moving the event to California less than a week to the fight.
Thursday, on the week of the event, UFC’s Jeff Novitzky revealed that Jones also tested positive for the same metabolite on two separate occasions prior to the December drug test as well.
Even with adverse results from August and September, Novitzky has admitted that the CSAC was not informed of these facts prior to their December licensing hearing.
“No, they didn’t,” Novitzky said when asked if CSAC knew Dec. 11. “Nevada knew at that time, but California didn’t. … I mean, hey, in hindsight, maybe [USADA should have told CSAC]. I’m definitely a proponent in as much transparency as possible. Unfortunately, how do you think of every scenario? I think in USADA’s mind, they had no obligation to let Nevada know about this at all. It wasn’t within their jurisdiction. I think out of an abundance of caution, they did it. Could they have given it to [CSAC] as well? I think potentially.”
According to MMA Fighting, CSAC’s Andy Foster also confirmed that they didn’t know about these test results until just last week.
Despite what seems like a lack of transparency from USADA and UFC about the months Jones has tested positive, Novitsky says it was simply due to “fairness and due process” for the athletes. He says they “took a lot of care into consideration and reaching out to all the experts and vetting the issues out here” and that at the end of the day, “they did the right thing.”