Kelvin Gastelum spent the winter suspended by USADA for marijuana
The former interim middleweight title challenger failed an in-competition drug test for the substance, surrounding his November 2nd fight against Darren Till.
It’s been a quiet few months for top-ranked UFC middleweight Kelvin Gastelum. The Ultimate Fighter Season 17 winner and former interim middleweight title contender hasn’t had a fight booking announced since losing a split decision to Darren Till back in November of 2019.
That isn’t because he’s been healing up from injury, however, or even just taking some personal time to sharpen his skills or hang out with his family. Instead, he’s been riding out a 4-month USADA suspension, after failing an in-competition drug test for THC metabolites—a component of marijuana.
“Gastelum, 28, tested positive for 11-nor-9-carboxy-tetrahydrocannabinol (Carboxy-THC) over the Decision Limit of 180 ng/mL,” USADA revealed in a recent statement, “a urinary metabolite of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis, marijuana, and/or hashish as the result of a sample collected in-competition at UFC 244 New York, New York on November 3, 2019. Cannabis, marijuana, and hashish are Specified Substances in the class of Cannabinoids and prohibited in-competition under the UFC Prohibited List.
Originally, the UFC’s anti-doping partner handed the Kings MMA fighter a nine-month suspension for the failed test—the second of his career. However, Gastelum’s suspension was reduced to only four months “following the successful completion of a drug treatment program.”
The former welterweight had a win over Vitor Belfort overturned back in 2017, also due to a failed in-competition drug test for marijuana. He’s fought five times in the years since, including losses to Israel Adesanya and Chris Weidman and the aforementioned defeat to Till, as well as victories over Michael Bisping and Jacare Souza. With his four month suspension already behind him, hopefully fans see Kelvin Gastelum return to competition soon.