Jon Jones comeback fight against Alexander Gustafsson has been moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles after the Nevada State Athletic commission took issue with the findings of a recent drug test.
The light heavyweight fighter is returning to the octagon at UFC 232 next weekend following a 15 month suspension for testing positive for turinabol, and in a December 9th test the 31-year-old tested positive for a trace amount of the same substance.
Jeff Novitzky, UFC VP of Athlete Health and Performance, has since stated said Jones’ positive test is not a USADA violation, but rather the organisation believes the test is a “pulsing” effect from the past positive result and not a new ingestion of the banned substance.
Novitzky also said the amount of turinabol metabolites in Jones’ system is in low “picogram” levels, comparing it to if a grain of salt was split into 50 million pieces, with Jones having single and double-digit levels of those picograms.
Jones issued a defiant statement following the test, insisting that he is a 'clean' athlete:
I’m focused on achieving my ultimate goal of reclaiming my Light Heavyweight title. I have willingly submitted to every USADA test in the lead up to this fight and USADA has confirmed what I’ve been saying all along, that I’m a clean athlete. I sincerely thank the California.
State Athletic Commission and Andy Foster for doing the right thing and supporting me through this process. I cannot wait to fight Alex Gustafsson this Saturday December 29th at the Los Angeles Forum in Inglewood.
Can’t bend me, can’t break me. #Champion2018
Gustafsson has since tweeted Jones about the venue change, clearly suspicious about Jones' test given his previous violations:
— Alexander Gustafsson (@AlexTheMauler) December 24, 2018
Longtime rival Daniel Cormier also weighed in on the fiasco, tweeting his approval for the NSAC in the investigation:
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) December 24, 2018
It should be noted that Jones has passed four tests since agreeing to fight Alexander Gustafsson on Saturday at UFC 232.