Once it was released last Tuesday that Anderson Silva failed the out-of-competition drug testing before UFC 183, the news spread like wildfire. Despite having been the recipient of a barrage of critiques from the UFC and the mixed martial arts community at large, the organization’s president, Dana White, stands by Silva’s side.
Both Drostanolone and Androstane, two performance-enhancing drugs, were found in Silva’s system. Nonetheless, White issued a statement last Wednesday reinforcing that Silva has never failed a test before and that the former middleweight champion has the full support of the UFC.
“Anderson Silva has been one of the greatest athletes this sport has ever seen. He has had a long and distinguished career in mixed martial arts. In his nine years with the UFC, Anderson has never tested positive for a banned substance. In light of this, we want to ensure that Anderson gets his due process and we will support him during this time.”
However, the rest of the UFC community has not been as supportive. On Twitter, UFC fighter Michal Bisping stated that, ultimately, he was not surprised.
Sad that Anderson silva tested positive for steroids. Although in hindsight, I'm not surprised. I'm too naive. #any1notcheatingbesidesme
— michael (@bisping) February 4, 2015
Similarly, former UFC middleweight and light heavyweight contender Chael Sonnen, who is all too familiar with being caught for taking performance enhancing drugs, did not have much sympathy for Silva, and told MMA Fighting that once a fighter tests positive, his or her whole career is called into question.
“As soon as you test positive for something people will want to say it was over your whole career… My response is, ‘That’s fair. That’s a fair statement.’ If you get hit with something it runs you all the way back in time… We’ll see how Anderson handles it, but I think when somebody, at least for me, when somebody tried to say things, even when it wasn’t accurate, I think I still deserve it.”
As for how Silva will handle this situation, the MMA legend finally responded. Per Yahoo! Sports, his management issued a statement denying any wrongdoing on Silva’s part.
“I’ve been competing in this sport for a very long time. This is my nineteenth fight in the UFC. I have been thoroughly tested many times and have never had a positive drug test…I have not taken any performance enhancing drugs. My stance on drugs is, and will always be, the same. I’m an advocate for a clean sport.”
Clearly denying the use of steroids, the former champion has the option of requesting a B sample of his drug test. In that, Silva stated that he “intend[s] to fight this allegation and clear [his] name,” and with the support of White, he will more than likely be presented with the opportunity.
[Featured image courtesy of Buda Mendes/Getty Images]