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Is Jon Jones publicly screwing up his “USADA snitching” defense or is he playing dumb to cover up secret testimony?

By Zach Arnold | October 5, 2018

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“Jon Jones denies snitching on anybody in MMA”

A trained attorney would parse that wording as Jon Jones saying that if he snitched on anyone to USADA, it wasn’t MMA fighters but perhaps someone on the periphery.

I’m not willing to give him that much credit. He’s just clumsy and obtuse when it counts the most in mounting any sort of public defense about his character. This is why you hire trained professionals like Howard Jacobs.

Jon Jones has to down play the snitching clause he took advantage of to get a reduced USADA sentence. There are serious issues of civil, let alone possible criminal liability involved. Jeff Novitzky made his bones as a Federal agent weaponing governmental agencies. His fiancee is currently a Federal agent. He has access to individuals who can get the ball rolling at any time for a grand jury. Grand juries can get whatever evidence they want and indict individuals at any time under a cloak of investigational secrecy.

Would you trust risking your personal freedoms in exchange for associating with Jon Jones because of a paycheck?

How much really is at stake

“I definitely didn’t give up any information on anyone in the sport, nor do I know of anybody who’s doing these things in the sport.”

In order to use the USADA snitching clause, Iain Kidd at Bloody Elbow detailed what is required under the “substantial assistance” clause.

If Jon Jones is telling the truth, he’s taking a public dump on Jeff Novitzky and USADA. He’s dumping on their credibility and on the legal viability of private contracts being enforced. Jon Jones has made many dumb decisions but I don’t think he’s dumb enough to fight Jeff Novitzky given that man’s vast Federal resources.

Take note of what “substantial assistance” means:

where the Athlete or other Person has provided Substantial Assistance to USADA or another Anti-Doping Organization, criminal authority or professional disciplinary body

“Criminal authority.”

A criminal authority like a grand jury. Like the DEA. Like Homeland Security. Like the IRS. Guess who investigated steroid pushing while at the IRS? Jeff Novitzky.

“Professional disciplinary body.”

Like an Athletic Commission.

This is what should worry people in the MMA business. You can either lose your freedom or your money. Jon Jones can’t afford to lose either. Which means he is playing a high stakes game of chicken with USADA.

The protected speech loophole

Earlier, I said that I don’t give Jon Jones a lot of credit for how he publicly defends himself. However, he is occasionally smart enough to hire someone like Howard Jacobs to navigate troubled waters.

Any attorney worth their salt would advise a client caught in the USADA bear trap to not utilize the snitching clause without some sort of protection. Why? Because any accusations made directly to USADA or a private entity regarding drug trafficking or usage is not legally protected speech. There’s no litigation privilege whatsoever. Which means you are devastatingly vulnerable to defamation lawsuits, even in states with an anti-SLAPP motion to strike. Since you’re accusing someone of involvement with drugs not to a public agency, your affirmative defenses shrink.

But read what USADA’s “substantial assistance” clause says. If Jon Jones gives testimony to a Federal prosecutor, a grand jury, or an athletic commission, his speech is suddenly legally protected and any defamation lawsuits against him can be stricken. The whole point of anti-SLAPP motions in states like Oregon, California, Nevada, and Texas is to give the public freedom to contact governmental authorities without fear of losing everything.

If Jon Jones is cooperating with USADA with testimony to an entity like a grand jury, he has to play dumb publicly. He can’t admit what his testimony is or who he gave it to.

Bottom line: Here is our hypothesis. I’m willing to give Jon Jones just enough credit to not be stupid to take USADA head-on publicly and put that entity in a position to lose their entire credibility over the utilization of the “snitching” clause. I’m also willing to give Jon Jones’ legal representation enough credit to advise their client not to give any testimony that isn’t legally protected speech.

Which means, in our hypothetical, that the only “safe” avenue for Jon Jones to rat out anyone over drugs in MMA without facing serious legal consequences is through a governmental agency. His speech would be legally protected from civil suits. And the Feds only want the goods. They don’t want their time being wasted. The same with USADA.

Topics: All Topics | 3 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

3 Responses to “Is Jon Jones publicly screwing up his “USADA snitching” defense or is he playing dumb to cover up secret testimony?”

  1. Diaz's packed bowl says:

    Everyone has egg on their faces now.
    If JJ is to be believed, the only thing to be inferred is that he ratted someone to a criminal authority, possibly his coke connection. If thats the case then USADA is NOT in the business to catch and punish ped users, rather to make ancillary deals involving and punishing actual criminals.

    If he is lying to the media, but did snitch on other ped users as USADA claims, then again egg on the face of USADA for letting off a now known liar.

    Third option is that they are both lying, and something substantial other than “assistance” was given to USADA.

    • Diaz's packed bowl says:

      Quintet 3 was thrilling! Hands down best idea best execution and best action of any grappling show. The only mar was Mir who was rightfully dq’d from the match before anyone was bored.
      The show had 18 matches with about 15 submissions in just over 3 hours. Much better than ufcs average of 12 matches and 5 finishes over about 7 hours.

  2. Diaz's packed bowl says:

    wow!

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