UFC Fighter Fails Doping Test For a Second Time- Accepts Sanctions

Published 05/11/2020, 3:13 PM EDT


Drug testing and control guidelines in organizations like the UFC are generally very tight and stringent. USADA recently announced that Kelvin Gastelum tested positive for 11-nor-9-carboxy-tetrahydrocannabinol. Carboxy-THC happens to be the main psychoactive component in marijuana.

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Cannabis, marijuana, and hashish are Specified Substances in the class of Cannabinoids. They are prohibited according to the UFC Prohibited List.

USADA initially slapped him with a 9-month long suspension after testing positive for Carboxy-THC during an in-competition test at UFC 244. The sample that tested positive for the component was Gastelum’s November 2 sample. It was taken the day after the fight.

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Gastelum took on Darren Till at UFC 244, however, he was unable to beat him. Eventually losing the fight via split decision.

However, the middleweight received a five-month reduction to his suspension after having completed a “drug treatment program,” according to USADA’s statement published to its website.

“Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, Cannabinoids are considered Substances of Abuse. If an athlete can establish that the Substance of Abuse was not used to enhance his or her performance in a bout, the athlete is eligible for a reduction to his or her period of ineligibility upon the full and satisfactory completion of an approved rehabilitation program,” stated USADA.

Gastelum’s nine-month period of ineligibility started when the positive sample was collected, November 3, 2019. Since Gastelum’s four-month suspension dates back to November, the middleweight fighter is eligible to fight again. In fact, he has been eligible since March 3.

Not the first time Kelvin Gastelum has tested positive

This marks Gastelum’s second violation of doping with Marijuana. His first violation came in 2017. The initial verdict had him suspended for 6 months. However, it was later brought down to 90 days.

Gastelum failed a fight-night drug test shortly after his win against Vitor Belfort. Gastelum bagged a first-round knockout against the Brazilian southpaw.

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That’s not all, the UFC was forced to pull Gastelum out of a fight against Anderson Silva at UFC 212 on June 3. Following everything that went down, Gastelum vowed to never fight in Brazil again.

“Suspension accepted, but I will NEVER fight in Brazil again. All they want is $$$$,” said Gastelum in a post on Twitter.

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In addition to the 90-day suspension, the Brazilian Superior Justice Court of MMA (STJDMMA) fined the Ultimate Fighter Season 17 winner 20% of his fight purse. The court also overturned his result against Belfort to a no contest.

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Vinayak

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