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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture chimed in with a reaction to Jon Jones' failed drug test for cocaine this weekend in an interview with Submission Radio.
Couture thinks there are tons of questions to be asked of the commission and the way Jones' test failure from December was handled.
"Well it certainly raises some questions. I'm very familiar with drug testing protocol, coming out of the Olympic wrestling that I was akin to, and you have and out of competition substance list, and the in competition substance list is considerably different," Couture commented. "I see now that there was a second test done pre-competition that came up negative. That was in the newspaper today so I'm not sure how accurate that is, but it certainly raises a question. If that second test is true, then I think the commission was doing what they needed to do to make sure that going into that fight on fight night he was clean and didn’t put himself or Daniel Cormier in any danger. If that second test never happened, then it raises the question of what the athletic commission was thinking in allowing a guy that's just failed a drug test to continue to compete, and no public statement was made about that failed test. But I understand the difference between an in-competition fight night drug test, and it'll be interesting to see what those test results were when they come back from Jon's fight night test, verses the one he did on December 3 that was an out of competition test."
"Obviously still people want to understand that line," he continued. "'In-competition' is the night of the fight. Anything in training camp or before that, or the random tests that happen throughout the year, those are out of competition. Yes he's in training camp for that fight, but it's still considered out of competition when he's not competing until fight night. So there's a very fine line there, and those lists vary in what are banned substances and what are not. Regardless, cocaine is an illegal substance whether it's performance enhancing or not. So it raises a whole bunch of other questions about Jon and obviously he's volunteered to put himself in to rehab, which is good for him. I hope that goes well."
"It's a shame that the reputation and the ability that he brings to the cage is a little bit tarnished now because of this, but it is what it is. He's the one who has to look himself in the mirror and deal with that. It will be interesting to see what his fight night drug test comes back and if it comes back clean. If it doesn't come back clean, then obviously the commission will have no choice but to peruse sanctions against him. Will they go easy on him because he's subjected himself to rehab? That's a question we'll see I guess when the results come back."
Penick's Analysis: With NAC director Bob Bennett insisting that they specifically did not test Jones for cocaine and other narcotics on the Dec. 18 test, then Couture's right to question the commission allowing Jones to go through with the Daniel Cormier fight. That's the issue, because while it wasn't considered "banned" out of competition, it's an illegal drug that could have adversely affected his health into the fight. It's not about being a performance enhancer at that point, but there should have been an obligation there to confront Jones prior to the fight if it was about his health.
[Randy Couture art by Cory Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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