The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced today that former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva’s second positive test for banned substances –from October 2017 — was a result of contaminated supplements. The announcement effectively clears Silva of the charge of intentional doping.
“This is great news. I am vindicated,” Silva said via press release. “The past nine months have been extremely difficult. I felt like my career and everything I had worked so hard for was dying and my future was hanging in the balance. I knew in my heart that I had done nothing wrong and fully cooperated with USADA during their inquiry to prove it.”
Silva had tested positive for two banned substances — the anabolic steroid methyltestosterone and the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide — in an out-of-competition urine test on October 26, 2017, as reported by MMA Fighting.
Sources indicate that the pharmacy that prepared Silva’s supplement did not list these ingredients on the label. The pharmacy claimed to use a manufacturing process specifically designed to avoid any possibility of cross-contamination with other medications and supplements.
According to the UFC’s anti-doping policy, athletes whose positive test results are determined to be caused by a contaminated product and not intentional doping can receive a reduced sanction. Silva received the minimum suspension — one year of ineligibility –but had initially been looking at a potentially-career-ending four-year ban and a $500,000 fine.
Per his team’s press release, Silva takes full responsibility and accepts the sanction, despite being vindicated.
“USADA has policies and procedures and I respect their decision. I am just thrilled to have my name cleared and credibility restored.”
He will be eligible to make his UFC return as soon as November 11, 2018.
Silva’s name was recently mentioned by Daniel Cormier, the reigning UFC king of both the light heavyweight and heavyweight division. During a conference call leading up to UFC 226, Cormier was critical of Silva — with whom he’s fought — on the topic of the Greatest of All Time debate, mentioning Silva’s positive test results, according to MMA Mania.
“Any time a guy does performance enhancing drugs and on multiple occasions, they eliminate themselves,” Cormier said. “So for as great as Anderson Silva was, he tested positive I think two times. [Jon] Jones has tested positive two or three times. Those guys eliminate themselves.”
Cormier and Silva met in the Octagon when the latter stepped in as a last-minute replacement for Jones, who was pulled from the bout as a result of his own positive USADA test.
For his part, Silva seems focused on moving forward.
“Today I have a renewed energy. My legacy is restored. I can focus on getting back into the ring and the next chapter of my life after fighting. I want to thank my family and fans for all of their love and unwavering support. I am excited for where future will take me and look forward to sharing the journey with all of them,” Silva said.