Melendez tested positive for exogenous testosterone related to his UFC 188 loss to Eddie Alvarez on June 13 in Mexico City. With no local sanctioning body, the UFC self-regulated the event, announcing Melendez’s positive result and a one-year suspension via an official statement on Monday.
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“Following his bout at UFC 188 in Mexico City on June 13, UFC lightweight Gilbert Melendez tested positive for exogenous origin of testosterone metabolites. The UFC has a strict, consistent policy against the use of any illegal and/or performance enhancing drugs, stimulants or masking agents by our athletes. As a result of the positive test, Melendez has accepted a one-year suspension, effective from the date of the bout, for violating the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy and Promotional Agreement with Zuffa, LLC.”
The UFC’s statement included comment from Melendez, who denied “injecting anything,” but took full responsibility for returning a positive result.
“Regrettably, I tested positive in my post fight urine sample for UFC 188,” Melendez said. “I did not inject anything, but I am responsible and accept the consequences for the results. I will make sure I am better educated about the products I use and their implications. Going forward I will ensure no products I use will contain banned substances. I am sincerely apologetic to everyone who supports me, including my fans, sponsors and the UFC. I value your trust and respect and will do everything in my power to keep it.”
The positive test result forced Melendez out of next week’s UFC Fight Night 71 in San Diego, leaving the UFC in a scramble to find another new opponent for Iaquinta.
Melendez was already a replacement for Iaquinta’s original opponent, Bobby Green. And with Iaquinta quickly rising up the lightweight ranks, finding a suitable counterpart with little more than a week to go until fight time could prove difficult.