USADA announced today that UFC® athlete, Kelvin Gastelum of Huntington Beach, Calif., has tested positive for a prohibited substance and accepted a six-month sanction for his anti-doping policy violation.
Gastelum, 25, tested positive for Carboxy-THC, the pharmacologically-active metabolite of marijuana and/or hashish, above the decision limit of 180 ng/mL, stemming from an in-competition sample collected on March 11, 2017, at the UFC Fight Night event in Fortaleza, Brazil. Marijuana and hashish are in the class of Cannabinoids and prohibited in-competition under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.
Cannabinoids are listed as Specified Substances on the WADA Prohibited List. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, the standard sanction for an anti-doping policy violation involving a Specified Substance is a one-year period of ineligibility, which may be reduced depending on the athlete’s degree of fault.
Gastelum accepted a six-month period of ineligibility, which began on March 11, 2017, the date of sample collection. Based on Gastelum’s successful completion of a USADA approved drug awareness and management program, his period of ineligibility was reduced by three months and is now scheduled to expire on June 10, 2017.
Because the UFC Fight Night event in Fortaleza was sanctioned by the Comissao Atletica Brasileira de MMA (CABMMA), Gastelum’s positive test also falls under the jurisdiction of the Brazilian MMA Sports Court, which has the authority to independently adjudicate the case in accordance with CABMMA’s rules and regulations. Following the reduction to a three-month period of ineligibility, Gastelum’s sanction under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy is now identical in length to the period of ineligibility imposed by the Brazilian MMA Sports Court on May 7, 2017.
Pursuant to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, all UFC athletes serving a period of ineligibility for an anti-doping policy violation are required to remain in the USADA registered testing pool and make themselves available for testing in order to receive credit for time completed under his or her sanction. Furthermore, if an athlete retires during his or her period of ineligibility, the athlete’s sanction will be tolled until such time the athlete notifies USADA of his or her return from retirement and once again makes him or herself available for no-advance-notice, out-of-competition testing.
USADA conducts the year-round, independent anti-doping program for all UFC athletes. USADA is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental agency whose sole mission is to preserve the integrity of competition, inspire true sport, and protect the rights of clean athletes. In an effort to aid UFC athletes, as well as their support team members, in understanding the rules applicable to them, USADA provides comprehensive instruction on the UFC Anti-Doping Program website (UFC.USADA.org) regarding the testing process and prohibited substances, how to obtain permission to use a necessary medication, and the risks and dangers of taking supplements as well as performance-enhancing and recreational drugs. In addition, the agency manages a drug reference hotline, Drug Reference Online (UFC.GlobaDRO.com), conducts educational sessions, and proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as the Prohibited List, easy-reference wallet cards, and periodic athlete alerts.