Dennis Siver was suspended nine months, handed a $19,800 fine and had his UFC 168 win changed to a no contest as the result of a positive drug test produced during the week of the event.
The Nevada athletic commission unanimously approved the penalties during a Thursday meeting in Las Vegas. The commission will also require Siver to reimburse the state for the costs of testing as well as the interpreter they provided for his hearing. In addition, as a condition of any future state license request, he will have to pass a drug test.
Siver tested positive for human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) last December. The hormone is often used to increase testosterone production.
Echoing a claim he recently made publicly, Siver said he never intended to cheat, alleging that he was given a bottle of drops by a new trainer that was sold over the counter and supposed to aid in weight cutting.
Siver took the drops for four weeks and increased his dosage during fight week, taking almost an entire bottle on the day of weigh-ins.
"This is just an error," he said through his interpreter. "I took the drops and I’m very sorry about that. "At no point did I have the intention to either cheat anybody or to increase my athletic performance. That was never my intention so I’d like to apologize for that."
Commissioners, however, noted that Siver did not note the usage of any medicines or supplements on his pre-fight medical questionnaire.
"The thing that’s got me is the lack of disclosure doesn’t tie to the argument of wanting to use it as weight loss," said commissioner Anthony Marnell, who echoed the thoughts of his colleagues.
"I’ll be blunt, I’m not buying it," he said.
Siver’s fine is representative of 30 percent of the $66,000 he made in his combined fight purse and win bonus.
Siver has fought under the UFC banner since April 2007, and after a career spent mostly as a lightweight, dropped to the featherweight class in 2012. With his win over Manny Gamburyan changed to a no contest, the 35-year-old’s career record moves to 21-9 with one NC. He will not be eligible to fight again until the end of September.