Mixed martial arts regulations and marijuana legalization intersect in a negative way. That is what Cynthia Calvillo felt on her own skin. (via MMAFighting.com)
“I really didn’t think I was doing anything wrong,” Calvillo said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “I’m not trying to be a rebel, just, I don’t know. It just really, really sucks that I’m in this position right now.”
The UFC Strawweight competitor, who has a medical marijuana card in California, where cannabis is legal for medical purposes, fought at UFC 219 in Las Vegas, Nevada. In California, marijuana is legal both for recreational and medical purposes.
However, under the WADA code, cannabis remains prohibited substance. Cynthia Calvillo had the results above the threshold which might be tolerated. She received a nine-month suspension from the Nevada Athletic Commission, retroactive to her fight date with Carla Esparza. Cynthia Calvillo was also fined with 15% of her incomes and the penalty is stricter than the one issued by USADA – six months.
“They say you have to be literally pretty super, super high in order to test positive the day of the fight,” Calvillo said. “There’s no way in hell I smoked or took any cannabis the week of my fight at all. Let alone the day of my fight.”
Cynthia Calvillo has found some unfair things about the process. She claims that she consumed marijuana the last time on Christmas Eve, one week out of the fight. She did it with the guidance of the authorities, which were claiming this is perfectly legal for that period.
“They tell us, like, they’re comfortable about how much time you would need to be cleared for in-competition testing,” Calvillo said. “The last time I had consumed cannabis was on Christmas Eve, which was the week of the fight. I usually use it for sleeping, I use it for inflammation, I have had my medical card for over two years. It’s something I’ve used especially because I had an injury where I broke arm my three times in a row, and so I use it for the medical component and cannabis, CBD does help heal your bones. I was also having trouble sleeping for a long time [and it’s] better than using over-the-counter stuff.”
“It’s something that I discussed with [UFC vice president of athlete health and performance] Jeff Novitzky before, even once I got into the UFC in terms of the usage of marijuana. So I’ve done this safely every single fight, I’ve been tested every day the day of my fight and it’s never been an issue before.”
Cynthia Calvillo should face Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson when the surprising news shocked the UFC. Cynthia also claims that she was tricked, and she would behave in a completely different way if she hasn’t been presented the false sense of security.
“It just really sucks,” Calvillo said. “If there was chance, if they didn’t make me feel so comfortable about it, and there was a chance I would test that high, and fail my test, I wouldn’t even have done it. I train so hard, I’ve had the success that I have, forget about weed, if they told me I need to not be doing this at all just to make sure it doesn’t happen, then I would follow it. I would make sure it would happen. But I really didn’t think I was doing anything wrong.”
We must also consider the matter of Nevada. NAC had long-time contradictory rules and regulations when it comes to cannabis. Nick Diaz received five years suspension for marijuana abuse, which was later reduced. Anthony Marnell III, the current chairman, personality profits from dispensaries. However, the board had punished Cynthia Calvillo in a more brutal way than USADA did. Cynthia Calvillo is very disappointed.
“I’m the last person you need to worry about,” Calvillo said. “The Nevada commission has fined people six months for (PEDs) but they’re suspending me nine months for cannabis, which is something I use for sleeping or inflammation which is not going to hurt me or my body and not hurt any opponent. … It’s legal there, there are a lot of people in the commission who are involved in dispensaries and in the business, so it just kinda sucks.”
Cynthia Calvillo also claims she has probably lost her sponsorship with the drink Body Armor, a UFC sponsor. Their spokesperson told that Cynthia Calvillo is no longer sponsored by their company but he didn’t specify the reason.
“While we don’t comment on specifics of any of our athlete partnership agreements — we can confirm that Cynthia is no longer a BODYARMOR spokesperson and we wish her all the best,” the spokesperson said in an e-mail.
Cynthia Calvillo doesn’t have many options left. If Cynthia Calvillo decides to appeal the sentence the process might be lengthened.
“I have to deal with this shit,” Calvillo said. “I was hoping, I was ready to go. I was ready to fight, like I said two weeks when I got the news I was ready to sign my contract to get my next fight going. For me, I dwell on it a little bit, not even then, it feels bad but then motivates me to get straight back to work. It’s kind of like, the fact, right now, too, I was really bummed out when I found out they gave me my nine-month suspension, but, it’s like, the show must go on, I’m going continue training and stay busy and hopefully these next six months will pass I’ll back come back stronger than before. Any other time I’ve ever had to be held down and held back I’ve always come back strongly. I just feel bad for whoever I have to fight next.”
What do you think, will Cynthia Calvillo get a shorter penalty in the end?