Gastelum flagged by USADA for marijuana metabolites
April 6, 2017
The up and down career of UFC middleweight Kelvin Gastelum has taken another blow as USADA has informed him of a potential violation stemming from marijuana metabolites above the decision limit of 180 ng/mL from an in-competition test.
The UFC statement reads in part:
The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) informed Kelvin Gastelum of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation involving Carboxy-Tetrahydrocannabinol (“Carboxy-THC”) which is a metabolite of marijuana and/or hashish, above the decision limit of 180 ng/mL, stemming from an in-competition sample collected in conjunction with his recent bout in Fortaleza, Brazil on March 11, 2017.
Gastelum defeated Vitor Belfort on March 11, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 106 in Brazil. Gastelum was scheduled to face Anderson Silva at UFC 212 in June. It’s likely that this fight is off since he must go on provisional suspension per the anti-doping rules.
It’s clear from most people that I have heard from that this should not be a violation. While marijuana is not necessarily banned, registering over 180 ng/mL from a test is a violation. It appears that there may not be an easy alibi for Gastelum. We will see how USADA handles this in terms of whether there are mitigating circumstances (he’d have to show he bears no fault or negligence for marijuana in his system or a reduction based on degree of fault) for Gastelum’s use. If not, he’s facing a 1-year suspension.
For Gastelum, this is a terrible setback for a career in which he’s battled weight but seemed to have found his stride at 185.