UFC Vice President of Athlete Health & Performance Jeff Novitsky works very closely with USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) and the UFC’s drug test program, which is why he’s often asked about troubled former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
Jones last competed at UFC 214 this past July, scoring a third-round knockout victory over Daniel Cormier to reclaim the 205-pound title. This was Jones’ first fight since UFC 197 in April 2016 due to the fact that he failed a drug test prior to UFC 200 in July 200. The only problem, however, is that he failed yet another drug test surrounding UFC 214, making his fighting future unclear.
Novitsky appeared on a recent edition of Bruce Buffer’s podcast where he discussed Jones’ situation, and apparently some have taken his comments out of contest, as rumors have begun to emerge indicating that Jones is likely to avoid any suspension at all.
Speaking with MMAFighting.com, however, Novitsky set the record straight:
“The headline and corresponding article took excerpts from an interview I did last week, where I was asked about the status of Jon Jones’ pending case,” Novitzky wrote in the statement. “I indicated that Jon’s camp, the UFC and USADA were all working hard and together to determine the source of the prohibited substance in Jon’s system. That is still the case.
“I stated that this is often a lengthy process that can take up to several months to complete, but that possible sanctions based on the findings of a completed case ranged from a multi-year suspension, to a minimal, or no-fault sanction, if an unavoidable ingestion of the prohibited substance was determined.”
While it’s true that the UFC, USADA, and Jones’ team are indeed working on issue, Novitsky confirmed that there are not yet any signs leading to the idea that Jones will be found innocent:
“While all parties are hoping to find evidence of the unintentional or unavoidable use of the prohibited substance, at no time during the interview did I indicate that there were developments leading in that direction, as was the inference of the headline,” Novitzky said.
How do you expect Jones’ situation to play out?