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Anderson Silva Will Return To UFC In November: 'I Am Vindicated'

By Fitzgerald Cecilio
on Jul 19, 2018 07:52 AM EDT
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Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion Anderson Silva declared that he's vindicated following the latest finding by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) on his second failed drug test.

On Oct. 26, 2017, Silva was tested positive by USADA for the three separate methyltestosterone metabolites and the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide following an out-of-competition urine test.

After the test, UFC pulled out Silva from his main event fight against Kevin Gastelum at UFC Fight Night 122 in Shanghai, China, on Nov. 27, 2017. Silva contested the decision, claiming his innocence and saying that the positive test for a performance-enhancing substance was due to a tainted supplement from a Brazilian pharmacy.

USADA looked into Silva's claim, examining a compounded dietary supplement product that the former UFC champion was using at the time of his positive test. After a series of tests, USADA verified the banned substances found in the product.

USADA Looked Into Silva's Claim

In addition, USADA also bought several supplement products from the Brazilian pharmacy and discovered that some of them were contaminated with prohibited substances, including multiple anabolic agents and diuretics.

After its discovery, USADA and Silva entered into a settlement where the UFC fighter agreed to a one-year suspension. The punishment will be retroactive to Nov. 10, 2017, meaning Silva can return to active competition on November of this year.

Silva was facing a four-year suspension for his second positive test. However, with USADA's decision, he avoided a possible punishment that would end his UFC career.

Aside from Silva, three other Brazilian UFC fighters — ex-heavyweight champ Junior Dos Santos, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, and Marcos Rogerio de Lima — were also tested positive by USADA for supplements bought from the same pharmacy.

The three accepted six-month suspensions, but Silva was handed a one-year ban because it was his second positive test. Silva received a one-year suspension after he failed two drug tests related to his UFC 183 clash against Nick Diaz.

Silva Said He's Vindicated With USADA Verdict

In a statement, Silva said he's vindicated with the USADA's latest decision. Silva added that his UFC legacy has been restored following that verdict.

"I am vindicated," Silva says. "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," added Silva. With the past behind him, Silva said he's now focused on getting back into the ring and continuing his UFC career. The 43-year-old Silva (34-8) last fought in February 2017, where he defeated Derek Brunson at UFC 208.

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