Anderson Silva’s first reaction to failed drug test: ‘I’m telling you, I didn’t do it’
In early February, just days after his win at UFC 183 over Nick Diaz, Anderson Silva received news that he failed a pre-fight drug test administered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
At the time, Silva was filming the newest season of "The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil" in Las Vegas when he received a call notifying him of the failed drug test.
Silva was eventually pulled from the show, but thanks to the benefit of reality television, the initial conversation in which the legendary middleweight was told the news was caught on camera. Silva was clearly shocked when he got word of the failed drug test as he pleaded innocence with manager Ed Soares on the other end of the phone.
"What? What do you mean? No, I didn’t take anything," Silva said when receiving the news. "Hear me out. I never took anything like that. No way, I’ve never taken anything. I did take anti-inflammatory shots. No way, I’m telling you, I didn’t do it. Are you crazy? I took hydroxocobalamin for three days.
"That was the only thing I took."
Hydroxocobalamin is an injection of Vitamin B12 and obviously not related in any way to the anabolic steroid Drostanalone, which is the illegal substance that showed up on Silva’s test that was first taken on Jan. 9. The footage from the series doesn’t include the news that Silva also failed a post-fight drug test that came back a few weeks later showing traces of Drostanalone along with two anti-anxiety medications Silva was allegedly taking in the leadup to the fight.
After the initial phone call that informed him of the results, Silva told coach Rogerio Camoes, who was acting as an assistant on the series, that he absolutely did not take anything but the test returned positive.
Silva was adamant throughout the filming that he didn’t take any performance-enhancing drugs nor taken any illegal substances before a fight.
"I’ve never used any anabolic steroid to fight or to improve my performance. I never took that. I did take anti-inflammatory shots," Silva explained.
"I’ve never taken any of that. Are you crazy? I don’t know what happened."
At the time of the first call in which Silva was told about the results, he didn’t know that just hours later the Nevada State Athletic commission would request that he be removed as coach from "The Ultimate Fighter," which films in Las Vegas.
Before he was told he had to leave the show, Silva stated that the commission "will have my head," and soon after he received word that he would have have to step down as coach, he informed his team of the news.
"It happened that I failed a drug test," Silva said. "The athletic commission decided that I must stand down as a coach and leave the game. The commission preferred to suspend me while they investigate this. Rodrigo and Rogerio Nogueira will take over. They should be arriving today, and they’ll take over the team.
"The coaching staff remains, the only change is that I’m leaving. You can’t give up on your dreams. Maintain your focus in the game. Continue to be disciplined. Remember everything you went through to get here. You cannot allow anything to strip this away from you."
The news came just days after the fighters first moved into the house after the elimination round took place, with 16 competitors making the final draw.
Once Silva told his fighters what was going on and that new coaches would be taking over, the entire room was somber while trying to soak in the news.
Andre "Dede" Ricardo, one of the fighters from Silva’s team, broke down in tears as he hugged his coach and said goodbye. Many of the competitors expressed similar emotions because working with Silva was a dream come true for many of them.
Just after he found out about the drug test, Silva was officially removed from the show as the Nogueira brothers took over for the remainder of the season.
Silva remains under temporary suspension from the Nevada commission until he is able to appear and make his defense before a potential penalty and punishment are doled out. Silva has twice delayed the hearing, so as of now it looks like he will be scheduled to appear in front of the commission in May, although no date has been determined.