The Nevada State Athletic Commission today fined UFC light heavyweight Thiago Silva $33,750 and suspended the fighter through January 1, 2012 after Silva admitted to using steroids and providing a synthetic urine sample for his UFC 125 pre-fight drug screen.
The NSAC processed two samples from Silva’s drug screen and both samples registered as non-human. Silva had the option of filing an appeal for today’s hearing, which he declined.
Silva defeated fellow light heavyweight Brandon Vera in dominant fashion at UFC 125: Resolution this past January in a bout that looked to have boosted his status in the division.
Questions were raised in regards to Silva’s test when the NSAC announced that his was the only test still processing a month later. Speculation increased when the UFC pulled Silva from a planned May bout against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Initially, Silva told Brazilian MMA news site Tatame.com that he was unconcerned over the discrepancy in his blood test for he had done nothing against regulations prior to the fight.
Silva admitted today to taking a prescription steroid during his training camp for the bout with Vera. The steroid was delivered by a doctor through an epidural, with the first dose taking place 45 days before the fight, and the second 30 days before the bout.
Silva revealed that during the screen he turned his back to the NSAC inspector, and proceeded to dump a container of synthetic urine that was hidden in his shorts into the testing vial.
“I just want to apologize for what I did,” Silva said at today’s hearing, transcribed by MMAJunkie.com. “I did what I did because my back was very, very bad a couple months (before the fight). I had not fought for one year. I was completely broke. I have a family. People depend on my money. I was desperate to do something.
“I know what I did is wrong. Like I said, I’m so sorry. I had my reasons. People depend on my money, and I had to give them support.”
The commission settled on a fine of $33,750, which was 25% of his $55,000 purse ($13,750) for the fight, as well as $20,000 of his $55,000 win bonus.
Silva’s positive test has been good news for at least one man: Brandon Vera, who had his UFC contract reinstated as a result of Silva’s attempted bucking of the system. His loss to Silva has been overturned and ruled a No Contest.
Thanks to Mark Wayne for contributing to this article.