The UFC announced on Tuesday that former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva tested positive for anabolic steroids. At the same time, the Nevada State Athletic Commission said that Silva’s UFC 183 opponent Nick Diaz also tested positive for marijuana metabolites.
In its official statement, the UFC expressed disappointment over the initial result of Silva’s tests, saying that it was informed by the NSAC on February 3 that Silva tested positive for drostanalone metabolites during a January 9 out of competition test. According to the NSAC, it allowed Silva to compete last Saturday at UFC 183 because the results of the said pre-fight drug test was not known until Tuesday morning. The NSAC also said that Silva was also tested (blood and urine) on January 19 and 31, but the results of those tests are currently unavailable.
On the other hand, NSAC chairman Francisco Aguilar said that UFC 183 post-fight tests revealed that Nick Diaz tested positive for marijuana. Aguilar said that Diaz was above the allowable limit of 150 ng/ML, although the exact results of Diaz’s test are still unavailable as of the moment. This represents the third time in Diaz’s MMA career that he has been involved in a marijuana-related incident. He was suspended for six months in 2007 after a win over Takanori Gomi. In 2012, Diaz again tested positive for marijuana following his UFC 143 loss to Carlos Condit. Diaz is a registered medical marijuana user in his home state of California because of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Anderson Silva is considered as the greatest mixed martial artist of All-Time. The 39 year old Brazilian legend was the biggest draw in the UFC during the previous decade, recording 16 consecutive victories from 2006 to 2013 including 10 straight defenses of the UFC middleweight title. Silva’s invincibility ended in July 2013 when he was knocked out by Chris Weidman in the 2nd round of their title bout at UFC 162. Silva fought Weidman in a rematch in December of that same year at UFC 168 but he suffered a serious leg injury during the bout which forced him to lose the fight and leave the sport for 13 months. He successfully returned last Saturday with a decisive but not so dominant win over Nick Diaz at the main event of UFC 183.
Silva is considered as the face of MMA and its most marketable star because of his clean image. This is the first time in Silva’s 18 year MMA career that he has tested positive for any banned substance. In past cases, first time steroid offenders have usually been meted a nine month suspension. Both Silva and Diaz are expected to be given temporary suspensions during the NSAC’s next scheduled meeting on February 17 while a full disciplinary hearing will be scheduled for each fighter.
Double Black Eye
Just last month, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones also failed an out of competition drug test conducted by the NSAC. In that case, Jones tested positive for cocaine metabolites. Jones has voluntarily submitted himself to a drug treatment facility for rehab. The UFC continues to maintain that it has a “strict and consistent” policy against the use of illegal drugs. However, it is ironic that for the second time in as many major PPV events this year, fighters in the main event have failed a drug test administered by the NSAC. To make matters worse, the fighters involved are current and former UFC champions, those that are considered to be ambassadors of the sport and the face of MMA.
Silva’s case becomes a double black eye because it was not long ago that he made a strong stance against PEDs violators in October 2014 (http://mmajunkie.com/2014/10/ufcs-anderson-silva-positive-steroid-tests-should-mean-no-more-fights) If Silva’s test results will be confirmed by the NSAC and he will be suspended accordingly, then it is possible that we may have seen the last of the Spider inside the Octagon as he is already nearing 40 years old.