Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva put a black smudge on an otherwise instant classic fight between him and Mark Hunt at UFC Fight Night 33 when he failed a post-fight drug test.
The Brazilian is adamant that the elevated testosterone levels were not his fault. Silva took to his personal Facebook page to clear the air:
Clarification: Months before my fight I looked for the UFC doctor Marcio Tannure in Brazil so I could start the hormonal replacement “TRT” which was authorized and recognized by a professional. I started the treatment and 2 weeks before my fight I did all the exams required by the UFC. My testosterone level continued to be low so I was recommended by the doctor to increase the dosage. Unfortunately my level increased too much and caused me to suspend. I only did what was recommended by someone trained who understands about the subject therefore it was not my mistake. I’m cool because I know that the mistake was not made by me,I never tried doing anything wrong for my fight.
MMA Junkie added another wrinkle to the story by indicating it wasn't Silva's first run-in with TRT issues:
MMAjunkie has learned sources close to the fighter that in March, the 34-year-old Brazilian received medical clearance to undergo TRT and began the process of applying for a therapeutic-use exemption with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which regulated his unsuccessful bid for the heavyweight title against champ Cain Velasquez at UFC 160...The application, however, was withdrawn when the NSAC informed Silva’s camp that there wouldn’t be enough time to evaluate the medical necessity of the treatment.
UFC officials have suspended Silva for nine months and took away his $50,000 "Fight of the Night" bonus money, giving it to Hunt.
Silva and Hunt engaged in what many believe to be the best fight in heavyweight MMA history. Both men were bloody and battered by the end. They were able to score near-finishes, but the fight was ruled a draw.
I believe I can speak for the majority of MMA fans when saying this was the perfect example of an acceptable draw.
Hunt suffered a broken hand, while Silva seemed to be in better shape and was ready to get back in the gym.
If what Silva said about the test is true, it's an honest mistake that will cost the heavyweight contender not only considerable time outside the cage but also his good name in the MMA community. Just ask Josh Barnett and Alistair Overeem how hard it is to maintain a positive image after being associated with a performance-enhancing drug scandal.
At the end of the day, this is one of the risks associated with taking TRT. It's a central issue in MMA right now, and every fighter who takes the treatment is automatically put under a microscope. It only takes the slightest mishap for a fighter to find himself in a world of trouble.
Just ask Silva.