Kelvin Gastelum will not be fighting Anderson Silva on June 3rd at UFC 212, as the UFC middleweight contender was notified of a potential USADA violation. A UFC statement released on Thursday revealed that Gastelum failed for marijuana metabolites.
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.
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Gastelum, as it relates to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and future UFC participation. Because the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA) was the regulatory body overseeing the fight in Fortaleza and has licensing jurisdiction over Gastelum, USADA will work to ensure that the Commission has the necessary information to determine its proper judgment of Gastelum’s potential anti-doping violation. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.
As a result of the potential anti-doping violation against Gastelum, USADA has placed him under a provisional suspension. While the UFC Anti-Doping Policy affords Gastelum full and fair due process rights before any possible adjudication of his case, because of the proximity to Gastelum’s scheduled June 3rd bout against Anderson Silva, Gastelum is being removed from the card and a replacement is currently being sought.
Gastelum (14-2) defeated Vitor Belfort by first-round TKO in the UFC Fortaleza main event. Shortly thereafter in the post-fight interview, he called out Anderson Silva to be his next opponent, and the UFC made it happen. Now Gastelum is no longer on the card and Silva needs a new opponent for the pay-per-view event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
As it stands, Gastelum faces a maximum one-year suspension for this potential violation. For past reference, former UFC featherweight Diego Brandao also tested positive for marijuana in his UFC 195 bout vs. Brian Ortega early last year, and he was given a nine-month suspension. Brandao and Gastelum are the only two fighters under the UFC-USADA partnership to fail for marijuana, which is permitted out-of-competition but still prohibited (above the 180 ng/mL decision limit, as already referenced) in-competition.