Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was recently reinstated by the California State Athletic Commission, paving the way for him to rematch Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 on Dec. 29 in Las Vegas.
Though it was not a condition of his licensure in California, one of the commissioners recommended and the full body approved an official request that Jones, of his own volition, take part in Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency drug testing surrounding UFC 232. The CSAC made it clear that Jones’ participation was not mandatory and would not affect his licensure in California.
CSAC executive director Andy Foster told MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday, and other independent sources confirmed, that it was his understanding that Jones declined to take part in the voluntary VADA testing. MMAJunkie was the first to report news of Jones declining to participate in VADA testing.
Ahead of and during UFC 232, Jones is subject to drug testing by the United States Anti-Doping Agency in accordance with the UFC’s Anti-Doping Policy and the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s drug testing requirements. If he refused either of those agencies, he would not be allowed to fight.
During a Dec. 11 hearing in California, Commissioner Martha Shen-Urquidez suggested that Jones submit to additional testing by a third agency, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency, which is a drug testing agency that is independent from fight promotions and state agencies, and has no authority over Jones.
“You and I both know that there is a large number of people that still have some doubts. It’s not just a little bit of doubt, but there are people that have serious doubts over (Jones drug test history). I, for one, would like to put those doubts to sleep and to put them away once and for all, and for people to believe you that you are that talented and that you can win a fight, just clean, and to put those doubts away once and for all,” Shen-Urquidez said when making her suggestion that Jones voluntary adhere to VADA testing in addition to the testing of the two other organizations which is required for him to compete.
Jones and his attorney, Howard Jacobs, had initially stated during the hearing that they might be agreeable to VADA testing, but added that they would have to know much more about the details before giving full consent.
“It’s complicated,” Jacobs told MMAFighting on Wednesday, clarifying why Jones declined to participate in VADA testing in addition to the two other organizations’ testing. “To say refused is the wrong word. There were issues with the proposal. We asked questions and were unable to fully resolve it.”
In its report, MMAFighting continued, saying that Jacobs said the conversation with VADA was “not contentious,” but declined to add further detail about the negotiations.
Jones will move forward to compete in a rematch with Gustafsson in the UFC 232 main event and remains subject to USADA and NSAC drug testing.