Anderson Silva Legacy Forever Tarnished by Drug-Test Failure

Hunter Homistek@HunterAHomistekCorrespondent IFebruary 4, 2015

USA Today

Anderson "The Spider" Silva's legacy is forever tarnished.

On Tuesday evening, Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole yanked the curtain on the nearly 40-year-old Silva's Oz act, revealing an illegal aid in the Spider's camp leading up to his UFC 183 main event against Nick Diaz on Jan. 31.

According to Iole, Silva tested positive for two anabolic steroidsdrostanolone and androstane—during a Jan. 9 out-of-competition drug test administered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).

Following Iole's report, The Fight Corner uploaded a PDF (Warning: Clicking that link may shatter your dreams and illusions) of the test results as they were presented by the Sports Medicine Research & Testing Laboratory (SMARTL).

Drostanolone metabolite detected. This one's frequently used by bodybuilders, per EliteFitness.com. It is an effective "cutting agent" which "gives muscles a more defined look" and is prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Also, 17-methyl-5b-androstane-3,17-diol detected. This one's currently prohibited by WADA, too. It's "closely related to testosterone," per OxfordIndex.com.

Silva, considered by many the consensus greatest mixed martial artist of all time, joins an infamous list of cheats in the sporting world. MMAJunkie.com's Brent Brookhouse noted the PED concern in pro sports:

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Like Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Lance Armstrong and many others before him, Silva has earned an ignominious asterisk to hang next to his career accomplishments.

Most Knockout of the Night awards in UFC history.

Poof.

Most successful title defenses in UFC history (10).

Gone.

Longest winning streak in UFC history (16).

Bye-bye.

How many of these records were achieved by Silva the all-natural fighting machine, and how many were under the influence of a little synthetic booster?

It is possible this is the first time Silva ever touched steroids.

Coming off a 13-month layoff due to a devastating leg injury and physical rehabilitation, he may have felt he needed the boost to ensure a smooth transition back into the cage.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter.

Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

Silva got caught, and now the doubt and second-guessing trickles in before taking root and overgrowing his legacy.

Making matters worse for Silva, he took a firm stance against steroids just a few months ago.

Speaking with MMAJunkie.com, Silva commented on steroids in MMA, saying these illegal substances were "bad for the sport" and that "when the guys test for the steroids, (they should have) no more fights."

Iole reported Silva will now face a disciplinary hearing Feb. 17, where the NSAC will move to temporarily suspend his fighting license.

Unfortunately for him, the bigger item at stake—his legacy—will receive an immediate lifetime ban from "greatest of all time" talks.

And the ball doesn't stop rolling at Silva's feet.

The Spider's UFC 183 opponent, Nick Diaz, also finds himself in troubleagain—after testing above the NSAC's threshold of 150 ng/ML for marijuana metabolites.

This latest transgression marks Diaz's third time testing positive for marijuana after a fight and his second under the UFC banner.

Unlike Silva, though, Diaz's misstep comes as a shocker to precisely nobody. He has long made his stance clear on marijuana.

Like Silva, Diaz will be temporarily suspended and will face a hearing in order to be re-licensed to fight, according to MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani (via MMAFighting.com's Marc Raimondi).

Diaz's case, though, is overshadowed by Silva's.

For one, the substances are drastically different. Yes, the rules explicitly forbid both steroids and marijuana, but the former is banned at all times, while the latter is only forbidden in competition. It's a distinction discussed by Jeff Wagenheim and Josh Gross of Sports Illustrated:

We've come to expect this from Diaz. It almost feels fitting (in a twisted way) that he might exit the sport this way. With Silva, though, he was the one guy who would never do this.

He felt like hallowed ground. Once consecrated, now desecrated.