Thiago Silva appeared in front the NSAC earlier today to face the music regarding his failed drug test at UFC 125. Silva stood before the commission and confessed to taking two injections of a prescription steroid 30 and 45 days out from the fight for his chronically injured back. Silva said he was fully aware that what he was doing was considered cheating, and purchased synthetic urine from ClearTest.com two weeks prior to the fight to cover it up. MMA Junkie’s John Morgan was present at the hearing.
“I just want to apologize for what I did,” Silva said following the conclusion of the prosecution’s cut-and-dry presentation. “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.”
After listening to Silva’s testimony, commission members deliberated and came back with the standard 12-month suspension and a substantial yet questionable fine. Silva was ordered to pay 25% of his 55,000 purse and $20,000 of his $55,000 win bonus, which comes out to a whopping $33,750. However, the result of the Vera bout was also changed to a “no contest” which raises the question: If Silva is no longer the official victor, why he isn’t being forced to give back all of his $55,000 win bonus?
Nevertheless, the fine is steep in comparison the $2,500 fines fighters such as Chael Sonnen and Sean Sherk received from the CSAC for their positive drug tests. Additionally, their suspensions were cut in half because they vehemently denied any wrong doing. In another NSAC case however, Karo Parisyan was forced to serve a 9-month suspension and pay a $32,000 fine for taking prescription painkillers on the banned substance list. $2,500 vs. $30,000+? 6 months vs. 9/12 months? No wonder fighters deny, deny, deny. Not only that, if you’re going to cheat, clearly you’re better off doing it in California than Nevada.
When describing how he fooled inspectors during the drug test, Silva said he hid the sample in a vial in his shorts and poured it into the cup as the inspector stood behind him. Interestingly, when asked if he thought this was a common occurrence, Silva answered, “Yes, I believe.” Commission members later admitted mistakes were made by their inspectors and they need to take a hard look at their processes and personnel.
“I have to say I think as a commission we have to take responsibility for the way this process works,” commissioner Francisco Aguilar stated at the conclusion of the hearing. “Had our inspectors been doing the job that they are hired to do and are expected to do by this commission, this would have never happened.
“I think we have to look at ourselves, and we have to look at the process, and we have to look at our inspectors to make sure we have the best inspectors in that room, who are willing to forego the social aspect of a fight and be there to do a job.”
Despite NSAC director Keith Kizer’s recommendation that the suspension begin today, commission members look to previous rulings and decided that Silva’s suspension would start from the date of the bout. In this case, that’s Jan. 1 2011 and Silva won’t be eligible to reapply for a license until Jan. 2, 2012.
Image via Dave Mandel for Sherdog
Correction: Keith Kizer clarified on Pro MMA Radio that Thiago Silva’s license was revoked, not suspended. He will have to reapply for a license when he is eligible on Jan. 2, 2012.