Dana White: UFC supports Anderson Silva as he gets 'due process'
Anderson Silva has a long road ahead of him in the next few months as he deals with the fallout after testing positive for two different performance-enhancing drugs, but he will do so with the full support of UFC president Dana White and the promotion he represented as champion for nearly seven years.
White made his first statement Wednesday since Silva's positive test result was released by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which showed the former champion had two different steroids -- Drostanolone and Androstone -- in his system during a test given on Jan. 9.
Silva has maintained his innocence since the test results were made public and has vehemently denied ever taking performance-enhancing drugs.
"Anderson Silva has been one of the greatest athletes this sport has ever seen. He has had a long and distinguished career in mixed martial arts. In his nine years with the UFC, Anderson has never tested positive for a banned substance. In light of this, we want to ensure that Anderson gets his due process and we will support him during this time," White said on Wednesday.
Silva made his own statement earlier on Wednesday, and added he would not be speaking publicly again about the matter until advised by his team.
"I've been competing in this sport for a very long time. This is my nineteenth fight in the UFC. I have been thoroughly tested many times and have never had a positive drug test," Silva said. "I have not taken any performance enhancing drugs. My stance on drugs is, and will always be, the same. I'm an advocate for a clean sport."
In the meantime, Silva is set to begin coaching the new season of "The Ultimate Fighter Brazil" opposite Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, and according to White, they will continue to allow him to participate on the reality show while he's awaiting final judgment from the commission on his drug test and possibly punishment.
"While this process plays out, Anderson will continue in his role as coach of 'The Ultimate Fighter Brazil.' Of course we will continue to monitor the actions of the Nevada State Athletic Commission," White said.
"We fully support the Commission's out-of-competition drug testing program, which we have financed when requested over the past two years. Testing of this nature is important to help keep the sport clean. The director at the laboratory in Salt Lake City has now explained the timing of Anderson's test results and why the Commission and the UFC did not receive the results until February 3, after the fight.
"Once all the results have been made public and the Nevada State Athletic Commission has rendered its decision, we will respect the process and move forward accordingly."
Silva will likely face a temporary suspension when the commission next meets on Feb. 17. At that time, the commission will work to schedule a date most likely in March for Silva to have a full disciplinary hearing where he can argue his case.
If Silva's test results are upheld, he's likely looking at a minimum nine-month suspension from the sport.
The test conducted on Jan. 9 was split into two separate samples and the lab tested the "A" sample. Since Silva tested positive, he has the right to request that the second "B" sample be tested as well, although he would have to pay for those tests to be conducted by the laboratory in Utah.