Novitzky responds to fake news

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

UFC drug czar Jeff Novitzky recently appeared on Bruce Buffer’s ‘IT’S TIME’ podcast and discussed the USADA investigation following former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones’ recent anti-doping test failure for Turinabol. Buffer’s questions were characteristically excellent, and Novitzky’s replied were measured and careful, noting that some investigations find no culpability. Novitzky also noted that the failure is puzzling in that Jones must have taken the drug close to the test, and could readily have known that the drug would be in his system during fight week, when he knew he would be tested.

Some less scrupulous members of the media sensationalized it:
•Jeff Novitzky details how Jon Jones can avoid a lengthy suspension
•USADA’s Jeff Novitzky: Jon Jones’s Steroid Was Probably From Non-Purposeful Ingestion
•USADA’s Jeff Novitzky “Jon Jones’ Postive was Probably not on Purpose”
•Head Of Anti-Doping Investigation: Jon Jones Is Probably Innocent
•UFC Exec Says It’s ‘Very Possible’ Jon Jones Gets No Punishment
•UFC Anti-Doping Czar Jeff Novitzky Believes Jon Jones is Completely Innocent of Intentionally Using Anabolic Steroids
•Potpredsjednik UFC-a: Jon Jones je vjerojatno nevin!

It’s a like 6-year-olds playing The Telephone Game. Jones doesn’t even work for USADA. And Novitzky was careful in what he said; the titles are misleading. You can listen for yourself:

Novitzky issued a statement to Marc Raimondi for MMA Fighting to 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,” wrote Novitzky. “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 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.”

Jones is being investigated. The failure is puzzling. Some investigations have led to a finding of no fault. That’s it right now.