Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Jon Jones Re-Licensed by California Commission, Asked to Undergo Additional Drug Testing

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has cleared the last hurdle ahead of his return after getting back his license in the state of California following a positive drug test in 2017.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has cleared the last hurdle ahead of his return after getting back his license in the state of California following a positive drug test in 2017.

Jones had previously had his license revoked by the state after USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) revealed that he had tested positive for Turinabol, an anabolic steroid, following his fight against Daniel Cormier at UFC 214. The California Commission overturned his win to a no contest and revoked his license while Jones was still awaiting word from USADA on his punishment.

Jones eventually received a reduced 15-month sentence from USADA and now the California Commission has followed suit by re-licensing him in the state ahead of his return at UFC 232 on Dec. 29.

“I do not think Mr. Jones is intentionally a doper,” California State Athletic Commission executive director Andy Foster said at the hearing. “I just don’t believe it. If he is, he’s the worst doper in combat sports. He fails the one test he knows is coming. I’ve said my piece.

“My recommendation to this commission if he turns in his fine is that Mr. Jones be allowed granted a temporary license, be removed from the suspension list so that he can make a living and go compete in the state of Nevada.”

Jones ultimately paid a $205,000 fine as part of his penalty and he will also do community service as well. Jones agreed to work with the youth groups at the Gracie-Barra academies in both Anaheim and in New Mexico with the commission also asking for him to work with a youth group of their choosing as well.

The only other discussion that took place during the hearing was a suggestion put forth by commissioner Martha Shen-Urquidez suggested that Jones undergo several months of additional drug testing that would be administered by VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Associasion) to continue to prove he was a clean athlete.

Ultimately the commission stated that the drug testing wouldn’t be mandatory but rather voluntary and they would even use Jones’ fine to reimburse him for the cost of the additional testing if he agreed.

Jones’ attorney Howard Jacobs agreed in principle to the testing but also said he wanted to further investigate VADA’s testing procedures and processes before putting his client into the additional testing. Either way, Jones submitting to additional testing is completely voluntary and will hold no bearing on his punishment from the commission.

At the end, the commission voted unanimously to give Jones back his license after he paid his fine and he is now free and clear to compete at UFC 232 on Dec. 29 in Las Vegas.

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