Kelvin Gastelum, briefly scheduled as Anderson Silva’s opponent at UFC 212, was removed from the card after testing positive for marijuana for his bout against Vitor Belfort in March. Recognizing the error and claiming medical use, the athlete has since been suspended for three months by the Brazilian Superior Justice Court of MMA (STJDMMA) in addition to having his victory against “The Phenom” turned into a No Contest and being fined 20 percent of his purse. However, soon after the situation was settled, the Californian changed his sentiments and admitted to having smoked marijuana after having claimed originally that he had used it for medical reasons.
Gastelum’s change of arguments raised voices that his sentence was too low because of his first justification when he claimed to have made use of the substance for medical reasons. During an interview with ‘The MMA Hour’, the American defended himself by revealing that he has a license to smoke marijuana in the state of California. Still, the difference in his statements has caused STJDMMA president Marcelo Sedlmayer in an exclusive interview with AG. Fight to analyze the flaws in the athlete’s reasoning.
“At no point in time was there any kind of document (that proved the medical use), that’s where the lie comes in. These are the points where there is a difference in his statements: First, it was medicine, and in the interview he said that it was used three weeks before the fight. But, by the measured dosage, a marijuana cigarette doesn’t include a dosage three times above the allowed (limit). If in Brazil it is not allowed, he can’t use the substance here. He never presented such documents as the license, the medical prescription, the dosage and the plea before the court.”
What seemed strange to some in Gastelum’s change of reasoning is the fact that it was the fighter himself who approached the Brazilian Superior Justice Court of MMA (STJDMMA) and the Brazilian Athletic Commission of MMA (CAB-MMA) to confess to the use of the prohibited substance and seek an agreement. However, although the differences in the American’s statements are obvious, STJDMMA president Marcelo Sedlmayer made it a point to ensure that he would not suffer any kind of further punishment since he had admitted marijuana use at first.
“He did change up his statements, but the information remains. He confessed to the use of the substance, and to the court that’s what matters. The way he used or did not use – for us, it’s indifferent. I would not be able to use it if it were not allowed [and] there is nothing to talk about when we cover this issue of the law of another country.”
In addition to examining the legal issues surrounding the case, the STJDMMA president pondered the fact that Gastelum was flagged for recreational use of marijuana rather than medical use, as he had previously alleged. And to justify his argument, Marcelo recalled that in an interview with “The MMA Hour” on Monday, the American hesitated to answer if he would stop consuming the drug – which would not so easily be possible if cannabis was used for the sake of health.
“You see that in the interview with the program there, the reporter asks him if he will quit smoking, and he said he doesn’t know, so if it was for medical reasons, he would answer, right? Although we can’t affirm that it is much more a recreational question than a medicinal one.”