Late in 2017, Anderson Silva was pulled from a headlining event in Shanghai, China after failing a drug test. The long time UFC middleweight champion tested positive for a diuretic hydrochlorothiazide and a synthetic testosterone called methyltestosterone.
While many expected a long suspension due to it being his second drug test failure, it looks like Silva will instead be able to return to competition soon. USADA has since announced that his failure was due to a contaminated supplement.
Following notification of his positive test, Silva provided USADA with an open container of a compounded dietary supplement product he was using at the time of his positive test. Although no prohibited substances were listed on the supplement label, testing conducted by the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City confirmed the presence of methyltestosterone and hydrochlorothiazide in the product. Thereafter, in the course of its broader investigation into Brazilian compounding pharmacies, USADA independently sourced numerous supplement products from the same compounding pharmacy that prepared Silva’s contaminated supplement. The analysis of those products by the Salt Lake City laboratory confirmed that they were similarly contaminated with prohibited substances, including multiple anabolic agents and diuretics.
Unlike the reduced six-month ban that USADA usually gives to those found to have unintentionally ingested contaminated substances, Silva is instead handed a retroactive one-year suspension for it being his second failed test.
According to USADA, Silva is now the fourth UFC fighter to be suspended by the anti-doping organization after having taken supplements from a Brazilian compounding pharmacy. Junior dos Santos, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Marcos Rogerio de Lima are the other three.
Silva’s retroactive punishment dates back to November 10, 2017, when he was provisionally suspended. This means the 43-year-old will be eligible to compete after November 10, 2018, and he has already expressed his interest in returning.
His team has released a statement to Ariel Helwani, saying he feels that his “legacy is restored.”
“I am vindicated,” Silva’s statement read. “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. 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.”
In 2015, Silva’s win over Nick Diaz was overturned after testing positive for multiple substances, including drostanolone and androsterone.