USADA Releases Statement on Jon Jones Drug Test Abnormality

Following the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s announcement of the move of UFC 232 from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency issued its own statement, explaining its stance on the recent Jon Jones drug test that caused the move.

Jones is scheduled to rematch Alexander Gustafsson for the light heavyweight championship in the UFC 232 main event. The fight was supposed to take place on Saturday in Las Vegas, but that was before a Dec. 9 drug test administered by USADA revealed residual amounts of the substance for which he tested positive in July 2017.

The California State Athletic Commission had recently reviewed Jones’ case and cleared him to return to competition. The Dec. 9 test, however, forced the Nevada State Athletic Commission to consider his eligibility. The NSAC determined that it did not have enough time to adequately review Jones’ case and drug testing history in time to potentially approve him for Saturday’s fight.

After the CSAC agreed to allow Jones to fight in California, UFC 232 was moved to Los Angeles, keeping the main event intact.

Following UFC president Dana White’s announcement of the unprecedented move, USADA released its statement explaining how it determined that Jones should not face any further punishment for the Dec. 9 drug test.

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USADA’s UFC 232 Jon Jones Drug Test Statement:

“USADA informed the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) on Thursday that a urine sample collected by USADA from Jon Jones in an out-of-competition test session on December 9, 2018 was reported Thursday by the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City to contain an extremely low level of 4-chloro-18-nor-17β-hydroxymethyl,17α-methyl-5α-androst-13-en-3α-ol (M3), a metabolite of dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (DHCMT), or another chlorine-substituted anabolic steroid. 

This is the same substance that was detected in Jones’ positive test from July 28, 2017 and for which he received a 15-month sanction from an independent arbitrator under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.  After examining the scientific literature on this substance and the extensive testing history on Jones and consulting with leading scientific experts, USADA has concluded that the extremely low level of DHCMT in Mr. Jones’ December 9, 2018 sample is consistent with residual amounts from his prior exposure for which he was previously sanctioned.  USADA has also concluded that consistent with the prior finding by the independent arbitrator, at these extremely low levels, Jones obtained no performance enhancement from this level.  The level reported was at approximately 60 pg/mL and there was no parent drug or other metabolites of the drug in his sample. As a result of these findings, USADA has determined that Mr. Jones is not facing a violation per the UFC Anti-Doping Policy. 

As always, sanctioning bodies for each hosting state have jurisdiction over fighter participation and –  taking all facts into account – are able to come to their own conclusions under their rules.  We are confident after consideration of all the evidence and based on science that the resolution of this result under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy is consistent with USADA’s mandate and in the interests of justice.”