Gilbert Melendez Handed 2 year Doping Ban

Originally published here - https://combatsportslaw.com/2020/07/27/gilbert-melendez-handed-2-year-doping-ban-for-violation-after-being-released-from-ufc/

 

Two arbitration judgements were released today documenting an anti-doping issue involving released UFC fighter Gilbert Melendez.  Of interest the decisions address when USADA has jurisdiction over a fighter who has been released by the UFC.

In short Melendez 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.  He was handed a two year ban via arbitration reasons released today.  While there is little controversial about a doping violation resulting in such a ban the real issue was whether USADA had the right to seek punishment given that the sample was obtained at a time after the UFC decided to release Melendez but neither he nor USADA had knowledge of this decision.

In late September or early October the UFC decided to release Melendez from his UFC contract.  They failed to inform Melendez of this decision until November 2019.  They did so via letter dated September 12, 2019 (days before the sample collection) but this letter was actually created in November 2019 and was simply backdated.  In short neither USADA nor Melendez knew he was released from his UFC contract at the time.  Melendez challenged USADA’s jurisdiction over him and argued that in these circumstances there is no authority for USADA to punish him for a doping violation.  Arbitrator Matthew Mitten disagreed and in reasons dated in May of this year found as follows:

Applying Rose to the facts of this case, the Arbitrator concludes that the court’s holding and reasoning supports USADA’s position that the UFC’s failure to provide Mr. Melendez (or USADA) with any notice before October 16, 2019 of its decision to terminate his contract evidences that he was an athlete “under contract . . . with the UFC” on October 16, 2019 who was bound to comply with the requirements of the UFC ADP. Read together, ARTICLES IV, X, and XXIV of his Promotional Agreement expressly required the UFC to provide written notice of the accelerated termination of his contract to Mr. Melendez by his personal email address. In sharp contrast to the facts in Rose, Mr. Melendez did not receive any actual notice (either verbal or written) of the UFC’s purported October 12, 2019 unilateral termination of his contract prior to October 16, 2019. The UFC did not give him the contractually required notice of its accelerated termination of his Promotional Agreement until November 6, 2019. On the other hand, the Arbitrator cannot accept Mr. Melendez’ assertion that Rose permits the UFC to remedy its failure to timely provide contractually required written notice by providing  such notice to him on November 6, 2019, which is retroactively effective on October 12, 2019.

Based on analysis of all relevant provisions of the UFC ADP and his Promotional Agreement, the Arbitrator rules that USADA has proven by clear and convincing evidence that Mr. Melendez was “under contract . . . with the UFC” on October 16, 2019, which is supported by his voluntary compliance with his obligations under the UFC ADP. On September 26, 2019, he submitted his whereabouts information for October 1—December 31, 2019 with updates on October 1 and 10 (stating he would be “Working UFc” in Tampa, Florida, which he was, serving as a commentator for the UFC Tampa Fight Night event.) The Arbitrator’s ruling also is supported by Mr. Melendez’ understanding that he was in the UFC RTP on the October 16, 2020 date of his sample collection because the UFC had not notified him either verbally or in writing that his contract had been terminated. In addition, it is supported by documentation that the UFC did not notify USADA until December 5, 2019 that Mr. Melendez should be removed from the UFC RTP because it had terminated his contract.

What about Giblert Melendez?  He didn’t pop did he?  He can still fight right?

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King Trav -

What about Giblert Melendez?  He didn’t pop did he?  He can still fight right?

He should have testified in that Giblert fight kit.  Let USADA know they got the wrong guy! 

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Isn't he basically retired at this point anyway? 

Man, very tough situation to make a fan judgement on. 

 

Obviously the natural reaction is to shun him for cheating, but you have to honor how the process of testing works, and in this case, it does seem like Gilbert should not have ever been tested to provide a positive UA in the first place. 

 

Like, morally it might be wrong for, lets take two recent examples, Paige Van Zant and Fabricio Werdum.  They both are no longer under contract with UFC as their last fights were the final one on the contract.  This means, they do not belong to any promotion, therefor no jurisdiction can force them to take a drug test(correct?).  Technically they could do all sorts of peds, and as long as they get signed to a promotion and then adhere to the drug testing policies, they would not get in trouble for stuff they ingested while not being signed, unless stuff was still in their system when they do get signed and tested. 

Side note - benefits of GHRP 6 are marginal at best. Not a steroid.

 

Considering his past indiscretions I do understand though

You’d think if nothing else, when fighters are in the twilight of their career they’d think, yknow what, I may go out losing, but I’ll go out with respect

Clearly not in some cases though, Gilbert couldn’t even seem to pick up a W with the PEDs, so no wins or respect

Juiced to the Gillsbert imo

Who?

 

Nate called this

I thought they were cool though

Dudes done with MMA.  So it doesn't matter.  But it's kind of a dick move from the ufc to backdate a release letter.

MartialArtsMixed -

Nate called this

How so?

"They're all on steroids"-Nate Diaz