The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) granted former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones a license to fight in the state again on December 11, a license that was revoked earlier this year after a drug test failure in line with UFC 214.
While the CSAC has granted a license for Jones to fight in the state, it did so without the knowledge of Jones’ drug test abnormalities from this past summer.
“No, they didn’t,” UFC Executive Jeff Novitzky said during a UFC 232 media session. “Nevada knew at that time, but California didn’t. … I mean, hey, in hindsight, maybe [USADA should have told CSAC]. I’m definitely a proponent in as much transparency as possible. Unfortunately, how do you think of every scenario? I think in USADA’s mind, they had no obligation to let Nevada know about this at all. It wasn’t within their jurisdiction. I think out of an abundance of caution, they did it. Could they have given it to [CSAC] as well? I think potentially.”
Novitzky says it would’ve been great if all parties had the information earlier, but also says the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has to make sure all issues are taken care of first through the vetting process.
“The way USADA adjudicates the program is they’re very conscious of the fairness and due process afforded the athletes,” Novitzky said. “I take a lot of pride in that. I say this very often that having a strong, comprehensive program is important, but just as important is being fair and having due process afforded to the athletes. So I think in their thought, if they notified Nevada of this right away, when they had even an inkling that, ‘Hey, maybe this is an issue, a remnant issue, not a subsequent violation,’ they’ve gotta be very careful, because a commission could go off on their own and use the adversely against the athlete. Again, ideally, would we have liked to have it earlier? Yes. But they took a lot of care into consideration and reaching out to all the experts and vetting the issues out here. And again, I think they did the right thing.”
UFC 232 takes place on Saturday, December 29 from The Forum in Inglewood, California with Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.