Why Jon Jones Pre Bout Cocaine Use Is OK In Nevada

Today it was announced that Jon Jones tested positive for cocaine metabolites in a random drug test taken 30 days prior to his latest title defense at UFC 182.

The results were known ahead of the bout so why was the fight allowed to proceed?  Because cocaine, while prohibited by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, is only banned ‘in competition’.

NAC 467.850 Subsection (f) adopts the WADA prohibited list of substances.  The latest edition lists cocaine as a prohibited substance but not out of competition (ie prohibited at any time) but only in-competition. Cocaine is listed under S6 of the Prohibited list which comes with the following stipulation In addition to the categories S0 to S5 and M1 to M3 defined above,

the following categories are prohibited In-Competition:”

Generally “In-Competition” means the period commencing twelve hours before a Competition in which the athlete is scheduled to participate through the end of such Competition and the Sample collection process related to such Competition.

Interestingly NAC 467.850 specifically states that stimulants cannot be administered “either before or during a contest or exhibition” but the term before is not defined so it can be argued that cocaine use some 30 days prior to bout is prohibited but the NSAC seems content to defer to the WADA distinctions of in and out of competition use.

While the result does not overturn the result of the bout the door is open for potential discipline with NAC 467.886 prohibiting a licencee from engaging in “any activity that will bring disrepute to unarmed combat“.

Some interesting points to consider from all of this –

1. Why is the NSAC testing out of competition for a substance not banned out of competition?

2. Since the results were available prior to the bout why the delay in releasing the results to the public?

3.  Why are the results being released publicly at all since the substance is beyond the scope of the relevant substances to be tested for during the timeframe?

4.  The NSAC has told the LA Times that “discipline is an option available to the commission”.  While this is certainly true, why would the commission not canvass the matter of discipline once the results were known instead of waiting until after the lucrative bout took place?

5.   What, if anything, is the UFC prepared to do about this as the use of cocaine violates their Code of Conduct which specifically allows for discipline to be imposed for “substance abuse”.?

11 thoughts on “Why Jon Jones Pre Bout Cocaine Use Is OK In Nevada

  1. Cocaine is illegal so regardless of when it is taken, its an illegal drug. That is why its on the WADA list. It doesn’t matter when he took it, but that he did and it resulted in a positive test. You can test the rules and wording to try to benefit Jones, but the simple fact is, he got caught with an illegal drug in his system

    1. Young and rich. I’m not surprised nor do I really care what he does on his spare time. I’ll watch his fights regardless.

  2. Great question: 3. Why are the results being released publicly at all since the substance is beyond the scope of the relevant substances to be tested for during the timeframe?

    Some would argue the appropriate approach would have been to keep it secret, even from Jones, treat it as wholly irrelevant and in future only test for banned ‘out of competition’ markers.

    There may be a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ going ons that would explain why things unfolded as they did.

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