Following the wild news from GloboTV's Ivan Raupp that Wanderlei Silva was pulled from his UFC 175 bout with Chael Sonnen and replaced with Vitor Belfort, Sonnen spoke out on the change on Fox Sports 1's UFC Tonight. He came out swinging.
According to Sonnen, Silva "literally ran" from a random drug test when Nevada State Athletic Commission officials approached him at his gym and requested a sample.
Chael says NAC officials showed up at Wanderlei's gym for a random drug test. He exited out a side door and never came back.— Jeremy Botter (@jeremybotter) May 29, 2014
Sonnen also flatly stated that "the cloud of suspicion" regarding potential performance-enhancing drug use had always loomed over The Axe Murderer throughout his career and minced no words in stating that the former Pride champion is taking illegal substances.
Worth noting, of course, is that Sonnen is by no means an unbiased reporter in this development. Sonnen and Silva have been exchanging words for years now and had an on-set brawl while taping The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3.
Regardless, he is correct in saying that, in the eyes of American athletic commissions, avoiding or refusing a drug test is treated in the same way as a drug test failure. That wasn't the end to Silva's evasion regarding the fight, though.
According to multiple sources, Silva never actually attempted to obtain a license with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, a requirement for any fighter ahead of a bout:
Failure to apply for license and take random drug led to Wanderlei Silva's removal from UFC 175 http://t.co/8iqIBkx1Dl— Shaun Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) May 28, 2014
Additionally, Sonnen confirmed the bout with Belfort and stated that the fight will take place at 205 pounds but will actually serve as a middleweight title eliminator.
Belfort, for those who don't remember, was initially linked to a middleweight title fight with Chris Weidman at UFC 173. He pulled himself from the card following the NSAC ban on testosterone replacement therapy and was replaced by Lyoto Machida. An injury to Weidman pushed their bout back to UFC 175.
Stick with Bleacher Report for more details as they become available.
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