Yesterday afternoon, MMA fans across the globe were given an answer to the question they had been lamenting since the news broke of Thiago Silva’s (16-2) questionable UFC 125 drug screening: Yes, he – for lack of a better word – cheated.
Silva’s co-main event bout against “The Truth” Brandon Vera (11-6) on New Year’s Day showed one of the most brutal performances by the Brazilian to date, as he pummeled the Muay Thai practitioner for three full rounds, even taking the time to play a mini-drum solo on the back of Vera in the third stanza, before taking the very unanimous decision. Onlookers were both impressed and flabbergasted by the seemingly inhuman Silva – especially considering he also was battling nearly a year’s worth of ring rust after rehabilitating a back injury that required surgery. As a result of the beating he took, “The Truth” was cut from the UFC.
Since the match-up though, Thiago’s exhibition of commanding MMA prowess has largely been overshadowed by the results of his drug screenings. When tested by the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory, a World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited facility, his “A” test was flagged. The news spread like wildfire as did speculation that Silva’s performance and subsequent test results may have been prompted by the light heavyweight taking performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). Then once his “B” sample produced the same results and the governing body of UFC 125, the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), was staying mum on the subject, many were convinced that Silva was hiding something.
The NSAC dropped a proverbial bomb on the MMA community yesterday afternoon when it announced that the urinalysis of Silva’s post-UFC 125 samples rendered an “invalid result” that was “inconsistent with human urine”. Instead of denying the allegations despite clear-cut evidence or making futile excuses for his actions as some would and have, less than 24 hours after the news of his indiscretions began infiltrating the headlines of MMA media outlets and fan forums, Thiago Silva decided to stand up and confess the whole truth. Here’s what he had to say.
“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 re-injured 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.”
(Excerpt courtesy of the UG)