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Kelvin Gastelum flagged by USADA for marijuana, pulled from Anderson Silva fight

Kelvin Gastelum EL MMAF
Kelvin Gastelum
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Kelvin Gastelum has been pulled from his UFC 212 fight against Anderson Silva after potentially testing positive for marijuana metabolites in an in-competition drug test conducted by USADA, the UFC announced Thursday.

Gastelum, 25, was flagged for a potential anti-doping violation stemming from an in-competition drug test collected in conjunction with his March 11 victory over Vitor Belfort at UFC Fight Night 106, according to a UFC statement. Gastelum was flagged for Carboxy-Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as Carboxy-THC, “which is a metabolite of marijuana and/or hashish.”

The legal decision limit for Carboxy-THC in-competition is 180 ng/mL, per WADA standards.

Gastelum (14-2) defeated Belfort via first-round TKO at UFC Fight Night 106 to propel himself into the top-10 of the UFC middleweight rankings.

As a result of the announcement, Gastelum has been placed on provisional suspension and forced to withdraw from his June 3 contest against Silva. Representatives from Silva’s team informed MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani that the former UFC middleweight champion still wishes to remain on the card, however no new opponent has been found at the time of this writing.

A former winner of The Ultimate Fighter 17, Gastelum racked up a 6-2 UFC record as a top welterweight prospect before moving up to the middleweight division in late-2016 due to his continued struggles cutting down to the 170-pound limit. Gastelum has since won back-to-back fights in dominant fashion at 185 pounds, stopping both Tim Kennedy and Belfort inside the distance.

The UFC’s statement can be read below.

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.

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