Gilbert Melendez was recently suspended by USADA for two years, after a bit of a complicated situation that went through arbitration. The former Strikeforce champion was tested and sanctioned after his UFC release, and it doesn’t seem to be something he is happy with.
“I’m an inactive fighter,” Melendez told ESPN. “I was released from the UFC before this test was taken. I believe [USADA] has no jurisdiction over me. ... I’m a private citizen and it’s no one’s business what I’m putting into my body at that point.”
Melendez stated that he considers the arbitration ruling as a victory, as he was only banned from competing in the UFC. He can still technically compete in other organizations and corner teammates in the UFC, but considers himself “retired” and is focusing on “recovering my body.”
“In USADA’s release, I believe they failed to recognize that all the arbitrator awarded them was that I can’t fight in the UFC for two years — which I wasn’t going to do anyway, because I was released.”
While it may be correct to argue that “it’s no one’s business” what he puts in his body now, it is worth pointing out that Melendez (and USADA) did not know he was already released when he was tested.
Melendez also previously failed another drug test in 2015 for exogenous testosterone metabolites.