Novitzky: Please let the process play out before judging Jones

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones tested positive for metabolites from the steroid Turinabol in a test administered on July 28. The next day he defeated then champion Daniel Cormier. When the test failure came back, he requested the B sample be tested, and that too failed.

Turinabol has a half-life of 16 hours, meaning it disappears from the athlete’s system within a day. However, the turinabol metabolite M3 that Jones tested for can be detected for 45 to 60 days, or more. Jones passed tests for Turinabol and its metabolites on July 6 and July 7. So Jones took Turinabol between July 8 and July 28. But given window for Turinabol metabolites, you wouldn’t take the PED knowing you were going be tested at the end of the month.

“On the face of things, any sophisticated doper, or any doper who knows how to do a Google search, is not going to choose turinabol or any other chlorinated steroid,” said UFC vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky, to Kevin Iole for Yahoo Sports. “They could very easily find that there is a detection window of 45 to 60 days and so with the facts that are out there, that Jon tested negative on July 6 and July 7, that means the substance entered his body between July 7 and July 28.

“Any sophisticated user, or anyone who does a Google search, will see it could be potentially two months in your system. Thus, it would not be a drug of choice if you had any level of sophistication.”

“I would very much encourage everybody, despite where we’re at in this with the B-sample being confirmed, I would encourage the media, I would encourage Jon’s fans, I would encourage those who aren’t fans of Jon’s, to let this process play out. We’ve seen many different things happen here, where there are varying degrees of responsibility. His team is working hard on it. We’re working hard. USADA’s working hard.

“Everybody wants the same thing, to figure out how this happened. Please, before anyone jumps to conclusions about Jon, let this process play out.”

If it turns out that the drug is in Jones body by no fault of his own, he still has a discouraging history, but might not lose his title, or livelihood. If Jones did knowingly or recklessly take a drug, retired middleweight Tim Kennedy has an interesting question.

As the UFC drug czar noted, it’s not a conversation that can even begin properly until the current process plays out.