Independent Arbitrator Imposes Two-Year Sanction on Gilbert Melendez for UFC Anti-Doping Policy Violation
Colorado Springs, Colo. (July 27, 2020) – 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. The jurisdictional and merits awards can be found here, along with all other UFC Anti-Doping Policy arbitral decisions.