It’s been an odd seven days for UFC Light Heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones, or at least his public persona.
The champion’s impressive victory over hated rival Daniel Cormier has swept away a bit — in a cloud of doubt over performance enhancing drug use.
Oh, and cocaine use.
It’s kind of like Jones’ unpredictable fighting style. What’s next? An odd savate kick to the leg? A spinning elbow from an unorthodox clinch position? Taking an Olympic caliber wrestler down to prove a point?
Except, unlike watching him in the cage, it’s nothing to marvel at. We’re shaking our heads, but not for the right reasons.
In case you missed it, here’s a brief overview:
The Nevada Athletic Commission conducted random drug testing on Jones and Cormier in the lead-up to UFC 182. This is something which is essential to really catch PED users — fighters could otherwise simply “cycle off” a banned substance in time for their scheduled.
So, Jones tested positive — but not for a performance enhancing drug, but for cocaine… which the NAC actually isn’t supposed to be testing for.
Jones entered a rehab facility and well wishes were extended.
But then came that sudden attack out of nowhere. Iain Kidd of Bloody Elbow presented the testing which Jones underwent, and it revealed abnormal testosterone to epitestosterone ratio. There’s more information at that link, but to be brief, that’s a possible sign of performance enhancing drug use.
The call went out to perform carbon isotope ratio (CIR) tests to follow up on Jones’ sample. The CIR “examines the atomic make-up of testosterone in the urine to determine if it is natural or synthetic.” (The New York Times published a graphic about CIR a few years back which is archived here.)
At this point, If NSAC fails to test Jones' stored samples with CIR they are not incompetent…they're complicit
— Dr. Johnny Benjamin (@DrJCBenjamin) January 8, 2015
Will the Nevada State Athletic Commission Seek CIR Testing for Jon Jones? http://t.co/UEheQmdxvS
— Erik Magraken (@erikmagraken) January 8, 2015
Later, Bob Bennett, the Executive Director of the Nevada Athletic Commission, responded to Jeremy Botter of Bleacher Report, saying that the testing “was done, and according to our doctor, none of the results were a concern.”
“The only negative was testing positive for cocaine metabolites,” Bennett said in Botter’s report. “We’ve gotten a litany of emails about the testosterone. We have a doctor we work with whose work has been impeccable for the last seven months. He does not have a concern on the last two tests.”
Members of the media have requested that CIR testing result (through the Freedom of Information Act).
The Nevada Athletic Commission will meet Monday to discuss the “anomaly” in Jones’ testing (that one they weren’t supposed to do at all) and other out-of-competition drug testing issues. It will be broadcast on UFC Fight Pass. Some say the NAC will begin approaching “out-of-competition” testing differently in the future — under the idea that something like cocaine is too damaging to a fighter’s health to ignore.
But the confusing saga of the last week would seem to be over. Except, of course, that it isn’t — we don’t even have results from the drug testing which Jones and Cormier underwent for the week of the fight.
You shake your head again.
But stay tuned. This may not be the controversy-that-was-then-wasn’t…