On Tuesday, the Nevada State Athletic Commission confirmed that Anderson Silva had failed a second drug test following his UFC 183 win over Nick Diaz. Originally, the Brazilian fighter had tested positive for Drostolanone and Androstane, performance-enhancing drugs, during a January 9 out-of-competition drug test.
In his most recent post-fight drug screening, Silva tested positive for Drostolanone, Oxazepam and Temazepam. The latter two are anti-anxiety medications, and although not considered PEDs, they are still banned by the NSAC.
Given Silva’s “greatest-of-all-time” status and his popularity within the world of mixed martial arts, many have been shocked and disappointed since Silva failed his first drug test. However, a second positive test has led to varied emotions among those who previously sang Silva’s praises and a temporary suspension from competition pending a future hearing.
Anderson Silva tested positive for steroids and anxiety pills. The anxiety pills he took because he knew he was gonna fail his steroid test.
— MMA Roasted (@MMARoasted) February 18, 2015
Anderson Silva temporarily suspended pending disciplinary hearing at future meeting. And that’s it for that subject.
— Jeremy Botter (@jeremybotter) February 17, 2015
Anderson Silva is now the GOAT at failing Drug Tests.
— MMA Roasted (@MMARoasted) February 17, 2015
At the same time, some feel that Silva’s positive tests are indicative of a bigger, more concerning issue. According to MMA Fighting, Georges St. Pierre’s coach, Firas Zahabi, likened Silva’s recent downfall to that of disgraced bicyclist Lance Armstrong.
“Georges is the best pound-for-pound fighter. We have to drop Silva. If he really cheated, we can’t set this example for the youth. It’s ridiculous. Is Lance Armstrong considered the best cyclist of all time? No. A few years ago, the answer would have been different.”
Silva has yet to respond to the announcement of his second failed test. However, per Fox Sports, the 39-year-old vehemently denied any wrongdoing and professed his advocacy for a “clean sport” when his first failed test surfaced.
“I’ve been competing in this sport for a very long time. This is my 19th 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.”
All in all, Silva’s impact on the evolution of MMA is undeniable. He has assisted in the expansion of the sport and is a recognizable star from country to country. Silva’s accolades know no bounds, and the ease with which he manhandled his opponents on his way to holding the middleweight title for nearly seven years will be forever talked about.
At the same time, Silva’s most recent failed drug tests will also allow many to question his victories, dominance, and achievements during the Brazilian’s nine-year tenure with the UFC.
[Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images Sport]