Gilbert Melendez tests positive for banned substance, suspended one year
Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez has tested positive for exogenous origin of testosterone metabolites following his fight against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 188.
UFC officials made the announcement on Monday while also confirming that Melendez will be pulled from his upcoming co-main event fight against Al Iaquinta at UFC Fight Night: Mir vs. Duffee on July 15 in San Diego.
Melendez has been suspended one year effective from the date of the bout at UFC 188 as a violation of the UFC fighter code of conduct policy.
"Regrettably, I tested positive in my post fight urine sample for UFC 188," Melendez said in a statement released on Monday. "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."
With Melendez pulled out of the fight on July 15, the UFC is actively searching for a new opponent to face Iaquinta on the upcoming card.
This is a first offense for Melendez, who has never tested positive for any other banned substances during his nearly 13 year professional career.
Al Iaquinta confirmed on The MMA Hour that the UFC is no longer searching for a replacement and he has been pulled from the UFC Fight Night: Mir vs. Duffee card.