Jon Jones & USADA's Jeff Novitzky. Photos: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports, Stefan Romare/ MMAnytt

Jeff Novitzky: Jon Jones subject to more drug tests than any athlete, “in any sport”

According to Jeff Novitzky VP of Athlete Health and Performance, controversial UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones is the most tested athlete he's ever encountered

While there have been claims of foul play, Jeff Novitzky convinced that UFC light heavyweight Jon Jones has been subjected to more drug tests than any other athlete he’s encountered. 

UFC 247 is fast approaching, taking place Saturday, February 8th in Houston, Texas. The main event sees UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones defend his title against undefeated phenom Dominick Reyes, and according to Jeff Novitzky, UFC VP of Athlete Health and Performance, there should be nothing suspicious leading up to the fight.

While hailed as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time, Jones has a dark side to his career. Aside from several driving offences, a brawl with bitter rival Daniel Cormier, there have also been other controversies. He has also tested positive for banned substances clomiphene, letrozole and turinabol on separate occasions. In fact, UFC 232 had to be moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles as the Nevada Athletic Commission refused to license Jones in the state.

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This has caused many fans to claim that Jones has cheated and taken steroids, though he has maintained his innocence. A tainted supplement was considered the culprit in more than one of his run-ins with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

However according to Novitzky, formerly of USADA, he’s never seen an athlete be subjected to more drug tests than Jones.

“In 2019, (Jon Jones) was subject to 42 no-notice drug tests by 3 separate entities (USADA, CSAC and NSAC),” Novitzky wrote on Twitter. “In my 20 years experience in the anti-doping world, this is the highest volume of yearly tests that I have ever seen on one athlete, in any sport.”

This bold claim would, on the surface, seem to exonerate Jones of wrong doing leading up to UFC 247. Despite this, critics are still vocal regarding suspicious circumstances in Jones’ testing processes. The fact that Novitzky vehemently insisted that the turinabol in Jones’ system ahead of UFC 232 was due to an involuntary ingestion has been brought up by those questioning the UFC champion’s innocence.

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With roots in muay thai and as an avid combat sports fan, Sebastian Vendel-Martinez grew up while the MMA scene was blossoming in Sweden. He became part of the MMAnytt team in 2012 and has gone on to become one of the most prominent MMA reporters in Scandinavia. Currently he continues to work as a writer, reporter, video producer/editor and head editor for MMAnytt.com
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