Jeff Novitzky, the Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance for Ultimate Fight Championship (UFC), believes that Jon Jones is completely innocent of (intentionally) using anabolic steroids. Novitzky went out of his way to defend Jones against the steroid allegations. And with the UFC’s help, he thinks that Jones can escape this scandal with just a slap on the wrist.
According to Novitzky’s logic, the fact that Jones actually got caught using steroids proves that he didn’t intentionally use steroids. He insisted that Jones would have never purposefully used Oral Turinabol because everyone knows OT has a six-month window of detection.
“[Oral Turinabol] was a substance where a few years ago would only be detectable for a few days within the system,” Novitzky said. “Now laboratories have found longtime metabolites tests, where metabolites can be detected four maybe up to six months after use.
“However, Jon submitted clean tests on July 6 and July 7 of 2017. His positive test was from July 29. A simple Google search would show you that this substance, it’s detection window has now moved out from four to six months. So, it doesn’t make a lot of sense that anybody with any level of sophistication would choose to use this drug. It had to have been used after July 7, or entered his system after July 7. It would not make sense to go to this drug because of the multi-month detection window. So, that would leave me to believe that it was probably from non-purposeful ingestion.”
Now let’s be clear about what Novitzky is saying. Novitzky is implicitly asserting that if Jones intentionally used steroids that he would have used an anabolic steroid that was undetectable given the current limits of anti-doping tests.
Things are looking good for Jones when the UFC’s man in charge of ensuring “all of its athletes are competing in clean sport” comes out and tells the world that you are innocent and don’t deserve to be punished.
Novitzky has even promised that the UFC will do everything it can to help Jones prove his innocence. It doesn’t matter how long it takes or how much lab testing is involved, the UFC will patiently wait until Jones can find a contaminated supplement to explain away his failed drug test.
“So where we are at is that Jon’s team is working hard. We are assisting them wherever we can to try to determine how this substance got into his system. Sometimes that is not a quick process. It can take weeks, if not months of testing supplements and retracing your steps.
“Best case scenario is if he (Jones) can prove that this (substance) thing came from something that was not high risk.”
Novitzky has completely sold out his reputation as an unwavering advocate of clean sport in exchange for the money offered by the UFC. Novitzky earned his credentials as a special agent for the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) and federal agent for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Novitzky spearheaded the federal government’s investigation into numerous steroids in sports scandals including those involving BALCO, Victor Conte, Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Justin Gatlin, Jose Canseco, Floyd Landis and Lance Armstrong.
It’s no surprise that Novitzky has sold out his principles for clean sport. It’s not the first time that a lowly-paid public servant employed by the government gets a high-paying job from from a profitable private entity and succumbs to greed over principle.
If Novitzky’s decision to sell out wasn’t apparent with the Brock Lesnar fiasco, it certainly appears obvious now that Novitzky is preparing the world for the possibility that Jon Jones will only get a slap on the wrist from the UFC after testing positive for the anabolic steroid Oral Turinabol.
It’s not clear exactly what impact Novitzky’s advocacy on behalf of Jones’ innocence will have. The anti-doping results management is in the hands of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). However, Novitzky has made his and the UFC’s position clear in the matter. And since the UFC signs USADA’s paycheck, we shouldn’t be surprised to see Jones back in the UFC octagon in 2018.