Kelvin Gastelum is happy the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency rulebook has been updated.
The middleweight contender is glad to see the UFC’s anti-doping partner, along with the Nevada Athletic Commission, changed their stance on penalizing fighters for testing positive for marijuana. Earlier this year, both USADA and the NAC announced they would no longer penalize fighters for testing positive for cannabis and its naturally occurring cannabinoid compounds.
For many years, marijuana was considered a banned substance, and its detection would often lead to suspensions and the overturning of fight results.
“Everybody knows the use (of marijuana) is not something that’s an advantage; if anything I think it’s the contrary,” Gastelum told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “I think someone that uses marijuana is actually in a way harming themselves, but it also helps athletes like me relax – just relax the muscles and the nerves – and it has many advantages, but in other forms.
“But for athletes to be compare to a PED, I don’t think it’s necessary to label it under a PED like steroids or testosterone. I just don’t see it that way.”
Gastelum, who returns to the octagon in the main event of Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 29 against Jared Cannonier, was one of the many fighters affected by the penalization of marijuana. He’s tested positive twice during his eight-year career with the UFC.
The first time, the violation got him pulled from a bout against Anderson Silva in 2017,