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Morning Report: Michael Bisping skeptical of Jon Jones’ drug testing situation, hopes the champion ‘stays clean’

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

For the last decade, Michael Bisping has been one of the most outspoken opponents to PED usage in MMA, so it should come as no surprise that the former middleweight champion has a healthy amount of skepticism surrounding the most recent Jon Jones drug testing controversy.

Leading up to his return at UFC 232, Jones had a drug test that revealed metabolites of turinabol - the banned substance found in his system that led to his 15-month suspension - still in his system. The “drug-testing abnormality” resulted in the Nevada Athletic Commission being unwilling to license him to fight, which caused the UFC to move the entire event to California on a week’s notice. Later, UFC executive Jeff Novitzky revealed that USADA had actually found adverse findings in Jones’ tests multiple times last year, including August, September, and December. But despite these repeated adverse findings, Jones’ UFC 232 drug tests came back clean, and to Bisping, this all seems a little convenient.

“So Jon Jones passed his post-fight drug test, which was the question that I asked him which pissed him off which led to him being kind of annoyed with me on the post-fight show,” Bisping said on his Believe You Me podcast recently. “I don’t want to turn this into Michael Bisping sh*tting on Jon Jones because he’s a legendary fighter - he was the youngest ever champion in the UFC. But to me - and I don’t know the science, I’m speaking purely from the standpoint that this is a fair question to ask - the narrative as to why he failed the drug test and failed multiple drug tests in August, September, and December, is that these metabolites from the turinabol were in his system from years ago and they could still be there for years and then all of a sudden he tests positive and then it’s brought to the forefront - Devil’s advocate, you would have to be f*cking stupid to continue microdosing - then all of a sudden, voila, the next time he gets tested it is out of his system. I don’t know. I’m not saying that is the reality, I’m just saying that is the first thing that I thought and I’d be lying if I didn’t say so. . .

“That was the narrative going into this fight: ‘Listen, this is remnants, it was leftover from whenever it was.’ But the point of the matter is that Jeff Novitzky was saying, everyone was saying this could be in his system for a long, long time and then , lo and behold, he tests clean.”

The UFC 232 drug tests were not the only tests to come back clean for Jones. Jones submitted a clean test at the beginning of August, and then four consecutive clean tests from September through November. After some discussion with experts, USADA determined that the failed tests were the results of “pulsing” and that there was no evidence the drug had been re-administered or was providing any enhancing benefits, and that was why Andy Foster and the California Athletic Commission was willing to sanction Jones to fight at UFC 232.

And while Bisping may think this all is a little suspect, “The Count” is at least glad that Jones did test clean and is hopefully, competing clean again.

“I’m glad he tested clean, I really am,” said Bisping. “I hope he continues to do so. He’s a great talent, he’s a great fighter, and I’m glad Jon Jones is back. I’m glad anytime fighters come back.

“I hope he stays clean. I don’t hope he passes his tests and gets away with it. I hope he stays clean. They’re two very different things. I don’t hope he gets away with it. I hope he’s competing on a level playing field and we get to see the best Jon Jones that we can.”

Bisping will get a chance to see the best Jon Jones possible soon enough. The newly minted light heavyweight champion is planning on a busy 2019 and already has his next fight lined up, a clash with No. 3 contender Anthony Smith at UFC 235 on March 2 in Las Vegas, Nev. - assuming the NAC will license Jones to compete.


$$$. UFC 232 estimated to have pulled in 700,000 pay-per-view buys.

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Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



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