UFC 235: Jon Jones' drug tests come back atypical, still cleared to fight against Anthony Smith

The mystery surrounding trace metabolites of a banned substance in UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones' system continues. 

Jones (23-1, 1 NC), who will defend his title in Saturday's main event at UFC 235 in Las Vegas, had two of the five drug tests taken earlier this month come back positive for the oral steroid Turinabol, according to results released Thursday by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. 

Tests administered on Feb. 14 and 15 returned atypical findings of the M3 metabolite, registering 40 and 20 picograms per milliliter, respectively. Jones will still be allowed to fight on this weekend's pay-per-view against Anthony Smith due to a ruling by the NSAC. 

The report provided by NSAC said that Dr. Daniel Eichner, president and laboratory director of the Sports Medicine and Research Laboratory (SMRTL), ruled "there is no scientific or medical evidence that [Jones] would have an unfair advantage leading up to, or for, his contest scheduled on March 2, 2019."

NSAC also ruled the findings are consistent with their Jan. 29 order to issue Jones a one-fight license in the state, provided he adhere to further and intensive random testing. 

The 31-year-old Jones had a number of recent tests produce similar levels of M3 metabolite within the same range, including in the lead-up to his Dec. 29 return at UFC 232 against Alexander Gustafsson when UFC decided to move the card on just six days' notice from Las Vegas to Los Angeles after Nevada chose against licensing him. 

Jones served a reduced 15-month USADA suspension dating back to his UFC 214 bout against Daniel Cormier when he failed post-fight tests for traces of the same substance. Jones was previously served a one-year suspension after he was pulled from the main event of UFC 200 for an unrelated failed test. 

A test administered to Jones on the day after his UFC 232 win over Gustafsson produced similar adverse findings of the M3 metabolite.

Jones has been stripped of his light heavyweight title a record three times in the past due to disciplinary and drug related offenses. 

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Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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