Anderson Silva Vindicated by USADA | Eligible to Return in November
“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.” -Anderson Silva
In February of 2017 at UFC 208, Anderson Silva’s hand was being raised as he was announced the winner by unanimous decision over Derek Brunson. The events that followed this victory were much less celebratory. His win over Brunson set the stage for a matchup with a young rising star in Kelvin Gastelum slated for November of that same year. Unfortunately, this never came to fruition. On October 26, Silva submitted a urine test that would inevitably keep him out of the cage for an indeterminate amount of time. According to USADA, Silva had tested positive for two banned substances, one being an anabolic agent, and the other being a diuretic. Naturally, Silva denied purposefully or knowingly using any banned substances. Yet, this was not his first offense. In 2015, he tested positive for multiple anabolic steroids and was given a one-year suspension by the Nevada Athletic Commission. Because of this previous offense, Silva was looking at a four-year ban from USADA. Given his age and length of the pending suspension, it was speculated that fans may never see The Spider inside of a UFC octagon again.
Then, after more than a year, everything changed. USADA recently announced that the failure was due to a contaminated supplement. According to USADA, Silva was actually the fourth different fighter that tested positive for contaminated substances all coming from a Brazilian compounding pharmacy. Unlike retail pharmacies in America that receive their inventories from commercial manufactures, these compounding pharmacies prepare their drugs onsite based on prescription specifications. Travis T. Tygart, CEO of USADA, remarked, “It’s unacceptable that these compounding pharmacies produced contaminated supplements for the public. And it’s another unfortunate example of why athletes must use extreme caution if using nutritional supplements. All too often, supplement products contain undeclared substances, including prohibited drugs, that can be dangerous to an athlete’s health. We are doing all we can to ensure that these types of suppliers are held accountable for introducing dangerous products like these into the marketplace.”
Silva’s suspension was reduced to only a year, which began retroactively on November 10, 2017, when he was provisionally suspended. This, in turn, means that he will be eligible to return after November 10, 2018.
In a statement to Ariel Helwani, Silva voiced his relief:
“I am vindicated, 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.”
Even at 43 years old Silva has voiced his intention of fighting again. Dana White has yet to comment on the matter, but it’s very clear that Anderson Silva has no intention of retiring. At this point, fans can only hope to once again see the Legendary Spider crawl through that cage door.