Former UFC featherweight Gilbert Melendez has been retroactively suspended for two years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
The news was revealed by USADA on Monday after the former Strikeforce lightweight champion had tested positive for GHRP-6 and its metabolites GHRP-6(2-5)-OH and GHRP-6(2-6)-OH.
The results were from an out-of-competition urine sample collected on October 16, 2019. As a result, Melendez’s two-year suspension began as of November 1, 2019.
You can see USADA’s statement below:
“USADA announced today that an independent arbitrator has rendered a decision in the case of UFC® athlete Gilbert Melendez, of Brisbane, Calif., and determined that Melendez should receive a two-year period of ineligibility for his anti-doping policy violation, precluding him from competing in any UFC bouts. This decision comes after the facts of the case were presented and argued.
Melendez, 38, tested positive for GHRP-6 and its metabolites GHRP-6(2-5)-OH and GHRP-6(2-6)-OH as the result of a urine sample collected out-of-competition on October 16, 2019. GHRP-6 is a non-Specified Substance in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances, and Mimetics, and is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and UFC Prohibited List.
While Melendez did not contest the presence of GHRP-6 and its metabolites in his sample nor identify a source of the prohibited peptide, he did challenge USADA’s jurisdiction to conduct the test. The arbitrator concluded that USADA did have jurisdiction to both conduct the test and allege an anti-doping policy violation in the event of a positive sample, as was the case.
Melendez’s two-year period of ineligibility began on November 1, 2019, the date his provisional suspension was imposed.”
Melendez No Longer Contracted To UFC
It should be noted that Melendez last competed in July last year following a unanimous decision defeat to Arnold Allen. His UFC contract was terminated on October 12 which was four days before USADA’s test.
Despite that and Melendez challenging USADA’s jurisdiction to conduct the test, he was still suspended.
Melendez could still fight for promotions outside the United States similar to how Mirko Cro Cop did the same a few years ago despite his USADA suspension.
However, one must question why he was tested in the first place if he was no longer a contracted fighter at the time.
What do you make of Melendez’s suspension?