UFC light heavyweight Jon Jones has been tested by USADA for the first time in 2018. Following his suspension from the California Athletic State Commission, Jones has largely stayed silent from the public, Twitter notwithstanding, until popping up on USADA’s testing database last week.
To put this into context, the two-division champion Daniel Cormier, in 2018 has been tested a total of 11 times.
To contextualize this further, Brock Lesnar, after being out of the octagon for 2 years due to suspension for Clompehine, has just been added to USADA testing pool in July and will be cleared for January when his suspension is up, while also hiding his name from the public database for a set amount of time, according to Damon Martin.
There is an important distinction to make before we continue, just because Jones has only just been tested, it doesn’t mean he hasn’t been in the USADA testing pool this whole time.
Jon Jones makes this clear in his tweet.
It’s like when you order at a restaurant, get a ticket with a number on it, and then you have to wait until your number is called. Between the time you order and the number is called, you are in the ordering pool, so to speak. So, in the Jones case, he is on standby with USADA until he gets his tests.
However, this mix of precedents is bewildering to behold considering past interactions with USADA and fighters. Cynthia Calvillo, for example, is currently serving a 9-month suspension for marijuana use and has been tested four times this year. Josh Barnett who was tested 13 times in 2016, and Junior Dos Santos, who has been cleared two months ago after a dirty lab in Brazil was exposed, was tested six times.
These separate cases leave mixed opinions about the drug testing arbiter for the UFC. It appears to be willing to once again withhold information when it comes to UFC promotion of certain fighters.
With the biggest UFC events of 2018 coming closer and closer, the ambiguity of USADA’s activity with the UFC adds more confusion and buzz within the MMA community.