Kelvin Gastelum tests positive for marijuana for second time

Former UFC title contender Kelvin Gastelum has tested positive for marijuana for a second time.

Gastelum, a top middleweight fighter, failed a drug test for 11-nor-9-carboxy-tetrahydrocannabinol (Carboxy-THC) over the threshold of 180 nanograms per milliliter in relation to his UFC 244 fight against Darren Till on Nov. 2, 2019, according to a release from UFC anti-doping partner USADA.

Gastelum initially received a nine-month suspension for his second violation, but that was reduced by five months after he completed a drug treatment program, per the release. He is already eligible to return to the Octagon.

Gastelum lost the fight to Till at New York's Madison Square Garden via split decision.

"Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, Cannabinoids are considered Substances of Abuse," the USADA release stated. "If an athlete can establish that the Substance of Abuse was not used to enhance his or her performance in a bout, the athlete is eligible for a reduction to his or her period of ineligibility upon the full and satisfactory completion of an approved rehabilitation program."

The New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) told ESPN in a statement that it will not pursue further discipline against Gastelum for the failed drug test. Per the statement, the drug-test information was "considered" in the discipline Gastelum received from the commission for violating a weigh-in policy ahead of UFC 244.

"The Commission is fully aware of these circumstances, which were considered in the administrative actions taken against Mr. Gastelum in November 2019," the statement read. "Mr. Gastelum has since resolved all the administrative requirements related to those specific circumstances. Mr. Gastelum's ongoing medical suspension is unrelated, and is anticipated to be resolved soon."

In 2017, Gastelum also tested positive for cannabis after a fight with Vitor Belfort in Brazil. That time, Gastelum was suspended 90 days by USADA and his win over Belfort was overturned to a no contest by the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA).

Gastelum ran afoul of the NYSAC at the UFC 244 weigh-ins. He was fined $1,000 for making contact with another person while he was on the scale, a provision put in place so fighters cannot redistribute their weight to make the scale come up with a lighter number. Gastelum's coach, Rafael Cordeiro, was fined $200.

Gastelum (15-5, 1 NC) has lost two straight. Prior to the Till fight, Gastelum fell to Israel Adesanya in an interim UFC middleweight title fight at UFC 236 in April 2019, a bout voted Fight of the Year. Gastelum, 28, is ESPN's No. 7-ranked MMA middleweight.