Jon Jones’ lawyer prepares for Oct. 31 arbitration

October 25, 2016

Jon Jones’ arbitration hearing is coming up next Monday and the former UFC light heavyweight champion’s lawyer, Howard Jacobs spoke about the upcoming case.

Jacobs, a noted anti-doping lawyer, indicated to Luke Thomas on his SiriusXM show that the products that were found in Jones’ system were a result of a contaminated product.  Per Jacobs, he states that USADA testing confirmed what Jacobs’ investigation found which reveals that the product is contaminated with Hydroxy-clomiphene, an anti-estrogenic agent, as well as the Letrozole metabolite, an aromatase inhibitor.  Both of the substances were found in Jones USADA tests.  The supplement/product that Jones took was not identified in the interview.

Under USADA rules, clomiphene and letrozole are “specified substances” under the World Anti-Doping Agency Code (“WADA”).  Per the WADA Code, “there is a greater likelihood that these (specified) substances could be susceptible to a credible non-doping explanation.”  The WADA Code recognizes that it is possible for a prohibited substance to enter an athlete’s body inadvertently, “and therefore allow a tribunal more flexibility when making a sanctioning decision.

Jacobs states that under the USADA rules, you may argue that taking the specified substances you are not at fault if you take a supplement or product that contaminated but you may argue that you’re not “significantly at fault,” which allows for the ability to argue a reduced sanction.

Jones could face up to a one-year suspension per the UFC anti-doping policy guidelines.

Payout Perspective:

Under Article 3.1 of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, USADA shall have the burden of establishing that an Anti-Doping Policy Violation (ADVP) has occurred.  USADA must establish that an ADVP has occurred to “the comfortable satisfaction of the hearing panel bearing in mind the seriousness of the allegation which is made.”  The standard of proof is “greater than a mere balance of probability but less than proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”  It would seem that the legal standard is between “clear and convincing” and “more likely than not.”  Jones may have a rebuttable presumption or establish specified facts or circumstances if USADA establishes its burden.  Jones’ burden would be “by a balance of probability” per 3.1.  It would appear the standard that would be more likely than not.

Based on Jacobs’ view, it would seem that USADA knows that the product taken by Jones was likely contaminated and he apparently has the evidence.  It would seem that USADA might meet its burden in proving that Jones took the substance but Jacobs could establish that the product taken was done inadvertently.  As a result, Jacobs would be asking that Jones be given a more lenient sentence.  We shall see if that will happen on Monday.  Of course, the parties could settle the issue prior to the hearing.

One Response to “Jon Jones’ lawyer prepares for Oct. 31 arbitration”

  1. d on October 25th, 2016 4:34 PM

    All this really proves is that USADA does not stand by their policy for all fighters. If you claim an item was contaminated, all you have to do is find a supplement that contains undisclosed ped related ingredients. Jones didn’t even disclose the supplement that he is using in his defense which means, he just spent a ton of money on a legal team that did a lot of testing to find out what supplements could fall into this category. This is making USADA look horrible. Same exact thing happened with Romero. These guys cheated, were caught and then got a slap on the wrist because they spent enough money in defense.

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