RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Anderson Silva was provisionally suspended by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after failing another drug test. He was just another Brazilian name to join the list lately.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos is also currently suspended by USADA, as well as PRIDE veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, who tested positive for the same substance (hydrochlorothiazide).
Jose Aldo, who never failed a drug test throughout his MMA career, weighed in on the situation of his fellow Brazilians during a UFC media day at Nova Uniao.
“It’s hard to say what happened,” Aldo said when asked about Silva’s recent suspension. “He’s an icon of the sport, he’s an idol for me and for MMA fans. Man, I don’t know, I can’t say much about it because I don’t know what happened.
“But with Junior ‘Cigano,’ no,” he continued. “Junior ‘Cigano’ and I have the same doctor, we come from the same lineage, so I don’t believe he took anything that enhances the performance or something like that. I think he’s more innocent than guilty.
“And I don’t know what happened with ‘Minotouro.’ I think athletes today make the mistake of trying to self-medicate sometimes without asking their own doctors, and that can hurt you. USADA and WADA change a lot the components that are doping, we receive e-mails all the time saying what is and what is not, but sometimes you make a mistake and it happens.”
Silva, who was pulled from the UFC Shanghai main event due to the positive drug test, released a statement saying that his “medical team is working very closely with USADA” to understand why he failed a drug test, and it’s still up in the air what the future holds for these fighters.
If he’s suspended a second time, Aldo believes Silva’s long reign as UFC champion might not be viewed the same way after another failed drug test.
“I think many fans and MMA journalists today say that Anderson was the champion he was because he doped,” Aldo said. “That’s a problem, that dirties his career. I make sure I take precautions, I do exactly what has to be done. Before I start a camp, I e-mail WADA and USADA saying what I will take, and we start the camp when they say it’s ok. I think this is a precaution that every athlete should take because you’re subject to this.
“Like I said, he’s an idol for us, but fans have a different image of him after he got caught twice. If it was only one we could say something, but twice can convict him. I think it hurts him, dirties his career, which for me was one of the best.”