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Thiago Silva admits to drug use in wake of NSAC announcement

In a move rarely seen in the athletic world, UFC light heavyweight Thiago Silva voluntarily admitted taking drugs banned by the NSAC in preparation for his bout with Brandon Vera at UFC 125 as well as a substance used to doctor the results of his urine test. The announcement was made through the American Top Team account (where he trains) on The Underground forum where he copped to the charges while apologizing and attempting to explain his motivation for having violated policy.

Here is the complete statement:

“We make decisions every day of our lives. Some are good and some are bad. When you make a bad decision, you can either make the situation worse by trying to cover it up or lie about it or just stick your head in the sand and refuse to acknowledge it even happened or you can own up to it with an honest explanation, accept the consequences of your actions, apologize to the people affected by it, learn from it and move on. I’m choosing the second option.

I used a urine adulterant when giving a sample following my fight with Brandon Vera. I did so in an attempt to alter the results of the test and knowingly broke the rules of the Nevada Athletic Commission. This was a terrible decision on my part for which I will be punished. I am prepared to accept this punishment, learn from it and move on. I apologize to the Commission, the UFC, Brandon Vera and the MMA fans.

I do want to explain the circumstances behind my actions. Please do not interpret this as an attempt to justify my actions. I know they were wrong and I know I made bad decisions and I know I deserve to be punished. That is why I began my statement with an admission and an apology before going into these details. This is not an excuse, only an explanation.

I had been tested on five prior occasions while fighting for the UFC before the Brandon Vera fight. Four of the tests were urine only and one included a blood sample as well in New Jersey the day before the fight. I passed each of those tests. I suffered a severe back injury shortly before the Rashad Evans fight. It was the biggest fight of my career and there was no way I was going to pull out of it. I fought and lost and was out of action for a year rehabilitating the injury and getting ready to fight again.

I reinjured my back 45 days before the fight with Brandon Vera. After not fighting for a year, I made the decision to not pull out of the fight. I also decided that the only way I could continue with the fight was to take injections in my back and spine that contained substances prohibited by the Nevada Athletic Commission. I also made the decision to use a product to hide the presence of these substances in a urine test.

These decisions were mine and mine alone. I did not share this information with anyone prior to the fight for fear that I would not be allowed to fight. I obviously made a terrible decision. I have since learned that it may have even been possible to fight had I been open and honest and disclosed the injury and treatment prior to the fight. I also realize that not being allowed to fight as a result of the treatment would have been a better result than the mess into which I have now gotten myself.

Again, I take full responsibility for making the decision to break the rules and try to cheat the system. I will accept the punishment I receive and will learn from this. I plan to come back as a better person and professional as a result.”

Silva’s back problems were first brought to light last year when he mentioned numbness in his limbs during an interview with Tatame. However, he also denied any wrongdoing to the publication after his name was left off a list of UFC 125 competitors who had tested clean for the event.

Up next for the ATT product is an April 7 date with the NSAC where his punishment will be determined. No word has surfaced from the UFC on whether or not his admission will affect his employment with the company.

  • Guthookd says:

    Actually, his initial reaction was to deny anything was amiss at all. Only now that his samples have been tested by two seperate labs, and thereby proven to be fakes, does he admitt what he did.

    So this sentence could certainly be debated IMO: “UFC light heavyweight Thiago Silva voluntarily admitted taking drugs banned by the NSAC”

    How about: “UFC light heavyweight Thiago Silva, after having been proven a cheat by two seperate labs, has finally admitted taking drugs banned by the NSAC”

  • Rece Rock says:

    He is still a idiot BUT atleast he owned it….

    My wife got these steriod injections when she destroyed 2 discs in her lower back… aside from acting as a temporary pain reliever I don’t see how this could have enhanced his abilities… when my wife would get injections she was sore and pretty much out of commision for 2 days at a time. She actually winded up having fatigue issues ( addison’s syndrome) because her body’s cortisol levels were all fucked up because her gland stop producing it because it was getting it from the steriod injection… Thiago is a idiot but i think this shit didn’t help him gain an advantage either way like he implied above he may have even been able to get a pass in using the injections if he disclosed it and followed up with the commision at a date prior to the fight…. idiot.

  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    I don’t disagree with your premise Gut but the reality is he did voluntarily admit the usage (even if the circumstances surrounding his admission are fishy). Lots of athletes deny drug use even in the face of facts or while under oath. At least he copped to it.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Also nice that he said it was all his doing and he went behind his trainers backs. Some guys when caught start pointing out everybody that is close enough to point at(Jose Canseco ring a bell?)

  • qat says:

    Well Rece, i dont know if these cases are so easily comparable, and even if, we do not know if that is what truly happened, we only know what he wanted us to know.
    Since its not a valid urine sample and not even a blood sample, nobody other than himself (and maybe some guys around him) knew what really was going on. Maybe he used other stuff, maybe more stuff. Maybe it was not his first time, even though i have to admit that if he was a pro with that stuff, he probably wouldnt have been caught like that. But then again, maybe he just didnt have enough time to cycle off..
    So i dont know if to believe this story, he never came across to me as the most honorable person on the planet.., but maybe we should give him the benefit of the doubt here.

    I hope that testing will be heavily extended anyway, its not nearly enough, and i believe there are quite a few “cheaters”.

  • stone says:

    I know there’s a lot of Brandon Vera haters on 5oz. But really, I wanna see a re-match. IMO, its the only fair solution. Not only did Thiago cheat and win, he got Vera cut. No public apology can make up for that. If he hadn’t cheated and dominated Vera, then sure cut him. Not only did he get BV cut, he also demolished his nose and embarrased BV. If I were Vera I would seriously lobby for a rematch, even if its in “strikeforce”

  • Dufresne says:

    I’m happy that he finally admitted to it, but I would have appreciated it if he had just come out as soon as there was any hint that something was wrong. I do have to give him credit for taking 100% of the blame. That’s not something that usually happens anywhere, much less in professional sports.

  • mu_shin says:

    I’m a guitar player by trade, not a doctor, but I do know the difference between cortico-steroids, used to suppress inflammation and enhance healing, and anabolic steroids, which mimic testosterone and are performance enhancing drugs. Anabolic steroids also have enhanced healing capabilities, but are rarely used for site injections of injuries as described in Silva’s statement. Both types of drugs are apparently banned substances for athletes in professional competition administered by the NSAC.

    Sounds to me like Thiago made an uninformed decision about medical use of cortico-steroids as pertains to Nevada State Athletic Commission regulations, and then further compounded his poor decision by attempting to mask the results of his urine test. I have actually read the regulations the NSAC has published delineating what substances are banned, but I do not honestly recall what protocols he would have or could have observed to have been allowed to compete following full disclosure of his medical treatment, but I believe there are some exceptions allowed following such a disclosure.

    Logic would dictate that as cortico-steroids are not performance enhancing, as long as Silva was not risking severe or permanent injury by competing too soon after an injury, there should be disclosure rules that would have allowed him to compete, but it sounds like he never researched this issue, and just decided to take matters into his own hands. I actually admire his tenacity and deternination to compete, but obviously he screwed the pooch on this deal, and will have to suffer the consequences. Vera has been reinstated by the UFC, so that issue is dealt with. Now Thiago will have to deal with suspension and re-establishing his career.

  • climbarock says:

    Damn! Say it ain’t so! I’ve always enjoyed watching Thiago fight…too bad he’ll be out for 6 months to a year.

  • TerribleT says:

    Like some1 already commented,at least he came clean no matter when he did it. How many fighters have actually even done that? Very few if any that I can recall……..

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Mu Shin I seriously never would have guessed you were a guitar player, you have some very good comments that that just didnt occur to me. Terrible T, like him or not Tim Sylvia came out and admitted it when he was caught for juicing saying he did use and taking his lumps like a man.
    I am still stoked the UFC did the right thing here and brought Brandon Vera back.

  • Madmax says:

    Seems to me the real issue is NOT that he took banned stuff for his back injury, IMHO, where Silva really erred BIG-TIME was he used an “adulterant” in his urine to try to beat the test. He should get a year off for using banned substances and an additional 2 years off for deliberately “doping” his urine sample.

    To me it’s downright low down, and maybe criminal, to “dope” one’s urine sample.

    Thiago should also get a BIG “L” for the fight, VERA awarded a “W”, and Silva paid not a single dime for the fight. HE CHEATED, plain and simple.

  • MCM says:

    Let’s not forget Leben also came right out and said he doped fanoftna33. The difference between Chris and Timmay getting caught and T. Silva is that they didn’t try to cover it up…twice.
    Chael got caught and came right out and said he did it and why. Silva could have done the same thing and it probably wouldn’t have mattered so much.
    Six months seems to be the absolute minimum for failed drug tests, but since he failed it twice, I say at least a year suspension, and that’s letting him off easy.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    MCM, I forgot about Leben, he was very upfront about it also wasnt he. 6 months for sure, and hopefully he uses it to get his back healthy.

  • Dufresne says:

    The only problem I have with a 6 month suspension is that it’s really nothing but a slap on the wrist for most of these fighters and a PR move by the promotion. It’s completely normal for a higher name fighter to only fight every 6-9 months anyways. So if you suspend him for 6 months right after a fight, so what? They can still fight within their normal time limit, so you’ve managed to do absolutely nothing significant.

  • MCM says:

    While I normally agree that a 6 month suspension by the promotion is a slap on the wrist, I’m thinking more along the lines of a 1 year suspension from the Athletic commission. If he get’s a year long suspension then he won’t be back in action until April 2012 at the absolute earliest. That will be 14 months since his last fight and only 2 fights in 26 months. Right now, he’s only borderline top 10, with so much time out of the game, he could very well return irrelevant.

  • Mightymark says:

    No 2 ways about it it – more heart than brain ! still hope he’ll be back soon.


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