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Jon Jones says he’ll address CSAC proposal to enroll with VADA after UFC 232

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

A California athletic commissioner proposed last week that Jon Jones enroll with the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA). Jones said Thursday that there’s just not enough time to devote into thinking about that prior to his return bout next week.

During a UFC 232 media conference call, Jones was asked about California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) member Martha Shen-Urquidez proposing him to enroll with VADA during a hearing last week. Jones’ attorney Howard Jacobs told MMA Fighting on Monday that Jones and his team have “declined” the proposal.

On the call, Jones said it was difficult for him to put any headspace toward VADA with his UFC light heavyweight title fight with Alexander Gustafsson on Dec. 29 in Las Vegas so close.

“I was advised not to get into it too much,” Jones said. “It’s all a pretty new conversation. It’s something that I haven’t put too much energy into. Like every ounce of my body, my spirit, my mind has been dominated with the next fight, actually finishing the fight. I don’t want to speak out of turn when it comes to these companies. These are pretty serious companies. I want to get my mind around the whole situation before I speak more on it. So I’m just not gonna comment too much on it.”

Jones, who is coming off a 15-month suspension for testing positive for a prohibited substance, will still be tested in relation to UFC 232 by USADA and the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC). Shen-Urquidez reasoned that if he wanted to fully clear any doubts about him being a clean fighter, he could enroll with VADA, which has no financial relationship with the UFC like USADA does.

Jacobs said Wednesday that he and Jones’ team asked questions and investigated enrolling with the agency. But ultimately, they declined.

“It’s complicated,” Jacobs said. “To say refused is the wrong word. There were issues with the proposal. We asked questions and were unable to fully resolve it.”

Jacobs said the issues with VADA were “not contentious” and the passing up on enrolling had nothing to do with USADA and VADA being competing anti-doping companies. Jones has already been tested 10 times by USADA this year.

“This was just kind of thrown at me recently,” Jones said of the VADA proposal. “I hadn’t spent any time or any of my energy on it. I haven’t even put much thought into it right now. And I realize it’s a very serious deal. And right now, I have a fight coming up. One thing at a time. I can answer the questions after the fight.”

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