Anderson Silva, considered by some the greatest mixed-martial artist in the sport’s short history, tested positive for anabolic steroids prior to his UFC 183 matchup.
“On February 3, 2015, the UFC organization was notified by the Nevada State Athletic Commission that Anderson Silva tested positive for Drostanolone metabolites on his Jan. 9 out of competition drug test,” read a statement by the Las Vegas-based fight promotion. “UFC’s understanding is that further testing will be conducted by the Commission to confirm these preliminary results. Anderson Silva has been an amazing champion and a true ambassador of the sport of mixed martial arts and the UFC, in Brazil as well as around the world. UFC is disappointed to learn of these initial results.”
The results may ultimately invalidate Silva’s underwhelming decision victory over Nick Diaz, who popped positive for marijuana, and further mar the ending of one of the sport’s most storied careers. The 39-year-old, who won 17 straight fights over the likes of Rich Franklin, Vitor Belfort, Dan Henderson, and Chael Sonnen during a seven-plus-year undefeated run, returned last Saturday night after a 13-month layoff after a gruesome leg break due to a Chris Weidman checked kick. Earlier in 2013, Weidman took the UFC middleweight championship by knocking out a clowning Silva.
The screening revealed the drugs Androstane and Drostanolone, an anabolic steroid mainly used in “cutting cycles” designed to take off fat without eroding strength, which might help an athlete more easily make weight. Fighters caught for that particular drug include Hermes Franca, Dennis Hallman, Josh Barnett, and, ironically, for his fight with Anderson Silva, Stephan Bonnar.
The bad drug news follows last month’s revelation that UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, currently considered the best mixed-martial artist by most, tested positive for cocaine in an “out of competition” test. Despite Silva’s dirty urine sample coming just weeks prior to his fight with Diaz, the Nevada State Athletic Commission dubs it, too, an “out of competition” test.
Silva’s win currently stands, but calling a positive result less than a month prior to a fight an “out of competition” test may not pass the laugh test with fight fans. The Brazilian cash cow has headlined nine cards in Las Vegas, injecting tens of millions of dollars into the local economy. The UFC had hoped for their star to headline another pay-per view in 2015, but a suspension, generally meted out for one-year periods for performance enhancers, makes that unlikely.
A hearing by the governing body will determine the length of suspension for both Silva and Diaz. Whereas Diaz has tested positive for marijuana twice in the past, invalidating a victory over Takanori Gomi in 2007, Silva has never tested positive for anything in his nearly two decades in the combat sport.