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Jon Jones’ manager, Malki Kawa, attempted to bat cleanup for Jones today on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, after we read Jones’ arbitration agreement and realized he got 30 months off his sentence for “substantial assistance” in giving information about another person, either helping USADA with another drug-busting case or helping pursuit of a criminal investigation. No one in MMA had invoked rule 10.6.1.1 before, the infamous “snitching clause”, and Kawa seemed a little hazy about what it meant. He also insinuated Jones provided assistance to USADA about himself, not a teammate. Transcription via MMAJunkie.com:
“I can just tell you without a shadow of a doubt that Jon did not tell on any teammate,” Kawa, of First Round Management, said on “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.” “Jon did not tell on anyone in MMA. Jon did not do anything that these people are saying he did. So all that, ‘He’s a snitch’ and all that stuff, we can put it to bed. He did not do that. There’s other things that took place in here. There’s other things that Jon did with himself. There’s things that USADA – and the arbitrator and everyone involved – got from Jon about Jon that they had never had before.”
USADA provided a statement that reiterated 10.6.1.1- which explicitly states that substantial assistance is provided about another person, not oneself — “…which results in a criminal or disciplinary body discovering or bringing forward a criminal offense or the breach of professional rules committed by another person.” She also pointed out that Jones would need to continue cooperating with USADA, or the reduction would be rescinded.
In a written statement provided to MMAjunkie in response to Kawa’s interview, USADA spokesperson Danielle Eurich cited rule 10.6.1.1. She also repeated the agreement that Jones’ reduction is contingent on his continued cooperation.
“Importantly, if the athlete or support personnel fails to continue to cooperate and provide credible substantial assistance, USADA will reinstate the original sanction,” Eurich said. “These rules set out in 10.6.1.1 are crystal clear, and if they are not met, an individual would not be considered for a reduction based on substantial assistance.”
She didn’t comment on the nature of Jones’ assistance, as it involves “ongoing matters”.
This made Kawa’s statements on the nature of Jon Jones’ assistance seem less somewhat less credible.
“It’s not like Jon sits in a room somewhere and watches people do steroids, and then he’s like, ‘Hey man, guess what, my teammate over here is doing steroids,’” Kawa said. “Jon goes and trains, gets his stuff, and he goes home. He doesn’t take a shower there. He doesn’t really hang out there. He comes in, does his thing, and he leaves. So he doesn’t sit there and hang out like that, or would know about anyone that does that. He doesn’t do that. So when people say these things, to me, it’s a funny thing.
“I’m assuming if Jon’s name comes up in something, and he was to know something, he would have to be cooperative with them. But I don’t know of a deal where it’s like, ‘Hey, we’re going to continue to’ – I don’t know about that. That’s not how it went down. I don’t want to assume anything or have this turn into a disaster all of a sudden. But, from what I understand, a lot of the stuff they were talking about had to do with him – not other people.”
Jones caught substantial flak from fellow fighters over the news that he had taken advantage of clause 10.6.1.1, though nothing specific has yet become public. Kawa also mentioned that rematches with Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson are the top options in play for ‘Jonny Bones’ return.
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