Gilbert Melendez Handed Two Year Ban

Gilbert Melendez
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 06: Gilbert Melendez enters the octagon in his featherweight fight during the UFC 239 event at T-Mobile Arena on July 6, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC)

Today, Gilbert Melendez was dealt with a two-year suspension for a failed drug test. A hearing was held and the arbitrator found in favor of USADA. The failed drug test was part of an out of competition urine test back in October of 2019. The test showed a positive for GHRP-6 and its metabolites GHRP-6(2-5)-OH and GHRP-6(2-6)-OH.

What is GHRP-6?

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, per USADA. Melendez did not deny using the performance enhancer, but he did contest USADA’s jurisdiction in conducting the test. It’s not the first time Melendez has run afoul of USADA.

Gilbert Melendez says he should not have been tested because, at the time the test was performed, he had already been released by the UFC. However, the investigation showed the UFC notified Melendez of his release on November 9th, after USADA collected the sample.

In simpler terms, GHRP-6 is a growth hormone used to increase size and strength. It is the same substance that Chad Mendes tested positive and was consequently suspended for. It’s interesting that Melendez never argued the drug was in his system, seeming to indicate he was knowingly cheating. It’s hard to feel sorry for a fighter who had been previously suspended and knew the banned substances were in his system.

Gilbert Melendez’s two-year ban is retroactive to November 1, 2019 meaning he could be eligible to return on November 1, 2021. In Melendez’s last UFC bout he lost to Arnold Allen, his fifth consecutive loss in the UFC. During that span, Melendez also lost to Jeremy Stephens, Edson Barboza, Eddie Alvarez, and Anthony Pettis.

Many people will remember Gilbert Melendez in the UFC from his amazing fight with Diego Sanchez. That fight took place in 2013 and shockingly was the only fight in seven attempts in the UFC that Melendez won.

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