After testing positive for metabolites of the steroid turinabol during an in-competition drug test at UFC 214 Jon Jones exposed himself to a host of potential legal consequences given that this was his second anti-doping infraction in the UFC’s USADA era.
In September Jones cleared one of the biggest of these hurdles securing a reduction in his USADA suspension based on providing “substantial assistance” to the anti-doping regulator.
Today Jones cleared his final hurdle with the California State Athletic Commission reinstating his MMA licence.
During a public hearing in Sacramento today the Commission Executive Director Andy Foster appeared side by side with Jones and strongly submitted that his licence should be reinstated. Foster made critical comments about California sharing concurrent jurisdiction with USADA (who enjoy doping powers by virtue of private contract with the UFC and their athletes). Foster noted the USADA “program needs tweaking” and went on record that he told USADA to no longer punish UFC athletes who fail in their jurisdiction but rather that USADA should send any samples they collect to the Commission who should be the only authority to issue suspensions.
Jones paid a fine of $205,000. A community service plan of providing youth services at a BJJ academy with services needing to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2019. He also agreed to be willing to sign up for anti-doping testing to be conducted by VADA (the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency) with the Commission agreeing to pay for it if that could feasibly be done. Interestingly Jones did not have to commit to this testing he simply was encouraged to do so.
The Commission approved a motion to remove Jones “from all suspension lists” and unanimously granted him a temporary licence allowing him to return to MMA.