Gastelum Accepts USADA Suspension For Second Marijuana Violation

For the second time since 2017, Kelvin Gastelum is feeling the wrath of the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

The winner of The Ultimate Fighter season 17, Gastelum (15-5, 1NC) has accepted a nine-month suspension for testing positive for a THC amount over the limit of 180ng/mL. According to USADA, the result came from a sample submitted during an in-competition test at UFC 244 in November. Inside Madison Square Garden, Gastelum lost to Darren Till via split decision.

“Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, Cannabinoids are considered Substances of Abuse,” USADA stated in a release. “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. Gastelum also tested positive for Carboxy-THC in 2017 and accepted the resulting sanction.”

Gastelum’s first failure came after a TKO-win against Vitor Belfort in Brazil in 2017. The win was overturned to a no-contest, but Gastelum was able to get his sentence reduced from six months to 90 days.

Just like his previous sentence, Gastelum’s suspension was reduced as a result of him using a drug treatment program. With the suspension set to less than five months instead of nine (for his second violation) and the fact it was backdated to the fight on November 2, Gastelum is able to return to the octagon whenever.

Since the Belfort fight, Gastelum has gone 2-3 in his last five. Before losing to Till, he lost an interim UFC Middleweight Title fight against Israel Adesanya at UFC 236.

Gastelum can also feel the wrath of the New York Athletic Commission, who have already had to deal with him. He was fined by the NYSAC due to issues he had during weigh-ins prior to the fight. Gastelum has since responded to the ruling, taking full responsibility for his actions.

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