There have been a battery of fighter responses to Jon Jones’ latest atypical drug test. Many fighters who have previously fallen victim to USADA punishments seem to think that there is a clear double-standard being enacted in their testing protocols. The common theme implies that fighters who have the ability to drive PPV numbers experience more discretionary flexibility by the agency.
Frank Mir Speaks
Count Frank Mir in as somebody who feels he was wronged by USADA. He took to Facebook to react to the latest news, and it’s hard to deny the questions risen by Mir have merit:
“In the spring of 2016, when USADA representatives sat in my Las Vegas kitchen and told me that the turinabol metabolite that they said I tested positive for could only have been ingested within a window of the past several months, I vehemently proclaimed my innocence. Having never failed any drug test throughout my career, I asked if we could go back further in the past to test any supplements that I could’ve taken, but they claimed that was both impossible and unnecessary.
They were firm on their assertion that there was only a recent period of several months that would warrant any consideration. Now, little more than two years later, Jon Jones has tested positive for the same trace of the same banned substance, and USADA is taking the position that this same low level is in fact not a new ingestion, but something that could be the result of a residual “pulsing” effect that could potentially stay in his system “forever”. Further, they are now claiming that this phenomenon is something that they are seeing in other cases as well.
This latest shift in USADA’s position would seem to suggest one of two possibilities…Either they are a) offering special dispensation to Jon Jones or b) they are second guessing and subsequently “revising” the presentation of their own science. Either scenario leaves myself and a number of other fighters whose careers have been similarly damaged by past testing claims to wonder what this says about USADA’s consistency and their tests’ reliability.
Sadly, my accusation came at a time when the UFC’s partnership with USADA had not yet been subjected to the kind of doubt that now seems to further cloud it with each new instance of convoluted circumstances”
Response to Mir’s Comments
After reading Frank Mir’s statement, I have two questions:
- How does the concentration of the metabolites in Frank’s system compare to that of Jon Jones’?
- Why was Jon Jones only suspended for 15 months for his initial test failure, while Frank Mir was suspended for 24 months?
Dana White and Jeff Novitzky made a number of media rounds today. They answered many questions, but now USADA has their own set of questions that warrant a response. If they are to maintain their reputation as a reliable anti-doping committee, they need to make the MMA community better understand what sets apart the Frank Mir and Jon Jones cases.