The United States Anti-Doping Agency has announced Gastelum accepted a nine-month suspension for his second violation of the UFC’s anti-doping policy for marijuana. He had gone over the maximum limit of THC metabolites allowed. Gastelum received a five-month reduction from the nine-month suspension for completing a drug treatment program. The positive test is from an in-competition test from his fight against Darren Till at UFC 244 on November 3, 2019. He is now eligible to compete.
As you all can tell by the news, I have accepted full responsibility and have already moved forward.
I am on to my next opponent #OnAMission4Gold
— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) May 11, 2020
This suspension marks the second time Gastelum is suspended by USADA for marijuana. Gastelum was scheduled to fight Anderson Silva at UFC 212 on June 3, 2017, but was pulled for testing positive for marijuana. The positive test was from an in-competition test from his fight against Vitor Belfort at UFC Fight Night 106 on March 11, 2017. Gastelum faced a six-month suspension but reduced it to three months after completing a drug treatment program.
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Last nights fights have gotten me so fired up! Seeing my friend @henry_cejudo get his 2nd belt! And @tonyfergusonxt putting on such an exciting fight. (Bittersweet ending I know) but there’s no other feeling like getting your hand raised inside that octagon. I’m almost 100% recovered from my fight and still have an orbital fracture that is healing but hope to be back training 100% soon. @kingsmma_hb @arthur.kings @terrhuns
Gastelum has been planning to make his return to competition in the summer. MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin reported that Gastelum recovered from an LCL tear and planned to return in July. Gastelum is on a two-fight losing streak. His last loss was against Till at UFC 244 by split decision. By losing to Till, Gastelum had moved down in the middleweight rankings to number seven.
Despite his recent troubles, Gastelum is still a threat in the middleweight division. Gastelum is two or three wins away from potentially fighting for the middleweight championship. Now that his suspension is over, Gastelum will now have the opportunity to climb up the rankings and become a contender for the middleweight championship.