Thiago Silva and the Top Five Fighters Suspended for Failing Drug Tests

Vince Carey@@vcareymmaContributor IApril 8, 2011

Thiago Silva and the Top Five Fighters Suspended for Failing Drug Tests

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    Earlier today UFC Light Heavyweight Thiago Silva went before the Nevada State Athletic Commission and received a hefty punishment for failing his post fight drug test at UFC 125.

    The American Top Team based fighter was fined $33,750 and has been suspended until January 1 of next year. His win over Brandon Vera was changed to a 'no contest' as well. 

    With the NSAC handing out punishments this severe, it's surprising how many fighters fail drug tests, as it hits their wallets and takes away their ability to work.

    Despite the repercussions, several top fighters have been caught with something illegal in their systems.

    Here are a few of the top fighters who have been caught and punished for failing a post fight drug test.

Thiago Alves

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    CHICAGO- OCTOBER 25:  Thiago Alves (R) fights Josh Koscheck in a Welterweight bout  at UFC's Ultimate Fight Night at Allstate Arena on October 25, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
    Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

    A consensus top 10 welterweight, Thiago Alves is known for two things: His vicious Muay Thai, and his constant struggle to make the 170 lb weight limit.

    That's why it came as no surprise when Alves tested positive for spironolactone, a diuretic used to cut water weight. 

    After his UFC 66 victory over Tony DeSouza, Alves was suspended eight months and fined 5,500 dollars by the NSAC.

    The 'Pitbull' hasn't tested positive for a banned substance since, but has missed weight twice.

Vitor Belfort

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    DALLAS - SEPTEMBER 19:  UFC fighter Vitor Belfort  (L) battles UFC fighter Rich Franklin (R) during their Catch weight bout at UFC 103: Franklin vs. Belfort at the American Airlines Center on September 19, 2009 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Ge
    Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

    Vitor Belfort is one of the top middleweights in the world, and has knocked out many of the top fighters in MMA, including Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva.

    However after losing a fight to Pride Welterweight Champion Dan Henderson at Pride 32, Belfort tested positive for 4-hydroxytestosterone, an anabolic steroid. 

    Belfort claimed he knew nothing of the banned substance and said it must have been given to him by a doctor, (which turned out to be true).

    However the NSAC was forced to abide by their rules and suspended Belfort for 9 months and fined him a total of $10,000

Chael Sonnen

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    Chael Sonnen was just two minutes away from a decision victory over Anderson Silva at UFC 117 before Silva miraculously sunk in a fight ending triangle choke and walked away with his middleweight belt.

    Many fans called for a rematch, convinced that Sonnen could replicate his success and possibly defeat one of the greatest champions in UFC history.

    But it was soon revealed that Sonnen had unusually high levels of testosterone in prior to his fight with Silva and was suspended by the California State Athletic Commission.

    Sonnen claimed he had used the testosterone for medical reasons, but since he had not cleared the use with the CSAC, his was still punished, getting suspended 6 months and fined $2,500.

Nick Diaz

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    STUDIO CITY, CA - MAY 19:  MMA fighters Jake Shields (L) and Nick Diaz demonstrate MMA fighting techniques at CBS's 'Elite XC Saturday Night Fights' Press Conference at CBS Radford Studios on May 19, 2008 in Studio City, California.  (Photo by Stephen Shu
    Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

    One of the baddest dudes in MMA, Nick Diaz had already made a name for himself in the UFC before he fought top-ranked lightweight Takanori Gomi at Pride 33.

    The fight quickly became one of the best of all time, as both men battled on the feet before Diaz submitted Gomi via Gogoplata in the second round.

    After winning the biggest fight in his career, Diaz was found to have tested positive for marijuana and the CSAC decided that it had affected his performance in the fight, declaring the fight a 'no contest' and fining Diaz $3,000.

Sean Sherk

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    CHICAGO - OCTOBER 25:  Sean Sherk celebrates his win in the Lightweight bout at UFC's Ultimate Fight Night at Allstate Arena on October 25, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
    Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

    Sean Sherk won the UFC Lightweight Title by unanimous decision over Kenny Florian in October of 2006, and had defended it for the first time, defeating Hermes Franca by unanimous decision at UFC 73.

    But after the Franca bout, Sherk tested positive for Nandrolone, a banned steroid, and was suspended for one year by the CSAC. 

    Sherk appealed the tests and had his suspension reduced to six months and was fined $2,500, but since the CSAC upheld their decision, the UFC stripped him of the title.

    Sherk attempted to win his belt back in his first fight since the suspension, but was beaten by BJ Penn at UFC 80.

Honorable Mention: Josh Barnett

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    Barnett is the only fighter to have tested positive for steroids three times, and has been suspended by both the NSAC and the CSAC at various points of his career.