Kelvin Gastelum Fails In-Competition USADA Test For Marijuana
Kelvin Gastelum was in a bit of hot water with USADA recently. He was handed a nine month suspension for his second failed drug test for marijuana.
Heading into his bout with Darren Till, Gastelum was regarded as one of the top contenders in the 185lb division. Unfortunately he would lose that bout, dropping a decision to the Englishman. As a result, he was hoping to get back in action quickly.
However there was a bit of a setback in getting Kelvin Gastelum back in the Octagon quickly. According to recent reports, he failed a drug test from that bout, popping for marijuana metabolites. This was his second failed drug test, for cannabis, and resulted in a nine month sanction.
As you all can tell by the news, I have accepted full responsibility and have already moved forward.
I am on to my next opponent #OnAMission4Gold
— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) May 11, 2020
Now because this was his second offense, Kelvin was originally handed a 14-month suspension. However his THC metabolite levels were low enough that he was able to convince USADA that no performance enhancement was conferred in the bout. Under the new rules USADA has adopted, this allowed his suspension to be decreased by five months.
In addition to this reduction, the suspension is retroactive to November 3rd, 2019. Therefore he is already cleared to fight again, without having any further time away. He seems to be itching to return too, although an opponent for him has not been rumored yet.
Honestly, the subject of testing and sanctioning someone for marijuana is controversial at best. On the other hand, it is good to see that fighters are not having their long term careers affected by these types of situations.