UFC President Dana White on Thursday denied allegations that the Las Vegas-based promotion was aware of Vitor Belfort’s alleged use of performance enhancing drugs prior to UFC 152.
Earlier this year, Deadspin reported that Belfort had high levels of testosterone before a September 2012 bout with light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in Toronto. The report claimed that the UFC knew about Belfort’s levels and allowed the fight to proceed.
During a lengthy interview with MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani last month, Jones said that Belfort “was on steroids” when they fought and the UFC took no action against the Brazilian. White denied Jones’ assertion that the UFC knowingly allowed “The Phenom” to compete while on performance enhancing drugs during an appearance on “Off The Record” with Michael Lansberg.
“Jones said that? How would Jones know that?” White said.
“No we didn’t know that. Was Jon Jones in our offices? Listen, Jon Jones is somebody who shouldn’t be talking about other people’s tests and what they’re doing.”
It was the first time White had been asked about the Deadspin report. UFC senior vice president of public relations Dave Sholler shot down the notion that the organization attempted to hide Belfort’s PED use at the UFC 192 post-fight press conference in October.
"I think one of the things to keep in mind with this particular topic is, any suggestion or inference that there was a coverup in regards to that was categorically false,” Sholler said.
"That period of time with TRT is one that was tricky for everyone: For the UFC, for athletic commissions, and for athletes alike," Sholler continued. "I think when everyone came to a conclusion it didn't have a place in the sport and was outlawed in 2014, we were quick to make sure that we too followed suit, as Nevada has said."