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USADA suspends Kelvin Gastelum three months for marijuana after completion of drug program

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Kelvin Gastelum was suspended three months by USADA for marijuana.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Kelvin Gastelum’s marijuana case with USADA is completed.

The UFC’s anti-doping partner suspended Gastelum six months, which has been reduced to just three months, following his testing positive for marijuana metabolites in an in-competition drug test March 11, the night of his UFC Fight Night 106 bout with Vitor Belfort in Fortaleza, Brazil, USADA announced Thursday.

USADA said in a statement that it cut Gastelum’s sanction in half after he completed an approved drug awareness and management program. Gastelum can return to the Octagon as early as June 11.

Earlier this week, the Brazilian MMA Sports Court (STJDMMA) handed down a similar, 90-day suspension to Gastelum. The STJDMMA also fined Gastelum 20 percent of his purse and overturned his TKO win over Belfort to a no contest.

Gastelum, 25, was supposed to face Anderson Silva at UFC 212 on June 3 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but was pulled from that bout when he was provisionally suspended by USADA and the UFC due to the positive drug test.

The California native failed the screen for Carboxy-THC, the pharmacologically-active metabolite of marijuana. The substance is banned only in competition over a threshold of 150 ng/ml.

Gastelum (13-2, 1 NC) was on a two-fight winning streak heading into the Belfort fight, including a third-round TKO over Tim Kennedy in Gastelum’s return to the middleweight division.