Jon Jones’ UFC showdown with Alexander Gustafsson on December 29 has been moved to Los Angeles.
UFC 232 will be moved from Las Vegas to Las Vegas due to licensing issue involving Jon Jones in the state of Navada, president Dana White revealed.
A trace amount of the banned substance turinabol was discovered in a drug test administered to Jones (22-1) – who is scheduled to face Alexander Gustafsson (18-4) on Saturday – on December 9.
Jones tested positive for turinabol in 2017 and was suspended by the UFC for 15 months. The The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) issued a statement on Sunday, which said the small amount of the drug was from the 31-year-old’s “prior exposure for which he was previously sanctioned.”
The showdown has now been relocated from T-Mobile Arena to The Forum in Inglewood, California.
USADA Statement on Jon Jones Sample and UFC Anti-Doping Policy pic.twitter.com/TJfbJB5X9W
— USADA (@usantidoping) December 23, 2018
“There’s not enough time for Nevada to do this, so we’re moving the event to California where the commission has already dealt with Jon Jones. They were the ones dealing with this and they have all the history with him.”
White added: “If these guys even doubted that something bad happened here and he was wrong or whatever, the fight’s off. We’d pull the fight.
“Jones didn’t do anything wrong here. All the biggest experts, the smartest people in the world that deal with this are saying that he did not cheat, he didn’t do anything. So how do we not do this fight?”
UFC vice-president of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky told USA Today that Jones had not violated the anti-doping program.
“He’s been cleared to fight in terms of the USADA program. … USADA fully analysed it internally,” Novitzky said. “They reached out to outside experts from around the world. They reached out to another sports league that has seen the same issue.
“And all of them, independent of us, determined that this was not a re-ingestion of the substance and this very, very small amount that was occurring and still showing up, according to these expects from around the world, did not provide any performance-enhancing benefit.”