In the days since Jon Jones’ latest drug test issue meant UFC 232 was moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, many prominent figures in the MMA community have been weighing in with their opinions of the messy situation. Joe Rogan was quick to blast the NSAC and support both Andy Foster and Jeff Novitzky, but his good friend Brendan Schaub isn’t on the same wavelength.
Former UFC heavyweight Schaub recently went off on the entire scenario on his ‘Below the Belt’ podcast (via BJPenn.com), pointing out the obvious that Jon Jones’ repeated drug test failures are not exactly something to be passed over:
“Do we just want to think that this is a random coincidence? The best fighter to ever enter that Octagon has all this negativity, has all these failed tests. We’re just going to skim over all that? And go, ‘What can ya do?’ We’re just going to be cool with that? Where there’s smoke there’s fire…and there’s a lot of f*ckin’ smoke here.”
USADA Not On The Level?
Indeed there is a lot of smoke as Schaub says, yet USADA appears content to not sanction Jones and let the fight go on from The Forum in Inglewood this Saturday. Because of that and other issues, Schaub slammed USADA for their supposedly false pretense of cleaning up the sport. He thinks UFC VP of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitkzy is simply a UFC cover man these days – a bold accusation:
“You’re crazy if you think [USADA] is the end all be all [of drug testing] and they’re just doing what’s best for the sport. Somewhere along the lines, Jeff Novitzky went from the golden snitch to the golden rat and he became an employee of the UFC. And now he has an office in the UFC building. So when guys fail tests, who do you think finds out about it first?”
No Longer Trust Novitzky
Schaub then summarized his view by claiming that whenever a fighter failed a drug test, Novitzky was no longer a representative of USADA. Instead, he and Dana White work together to play damage control and do what’s best for the UFC:
“That being said, when Dana and Novitzky come out together…you shouldn’t look at this as, ‘Oh, he’s the representative of USADA and Dana’s the representative of the UFC,’ No. You should look at this as this is the UFC talking to you to try and play damage control on this situation.
“Jeff Novitzky is no longer the face of USADA. Meaning he is no longer the guy we hold in that high regard. You can no longer trust what he says.”
Strong words from Schaub, who has been at odds with the UFC before. However, it can’t be denied that he makes at least somewhat of a good point here in that Novitzky is a UFC employee rather than a USADA representative at this point. He always was, and the furthering of the narrative where he represented USADA was never correct.
Either way, both USADA and the UFC look bad throughout this controversial mess. Even if Jones had a minute, almost untraceable amount of turinabol in his system, it appears they tried to save a pay-per-view at all costs.
Will that come back to haunt them?