Tuesday, February 3, 2015 was a dark day for the sport of mixed martial arts, as the UFC announced that, just days after their main event fight at UFC 183, former middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz both failed drug tests, with Silva testing positive for two anabolic steroids in a pre-fight drug test and Diaz testing positive for marijuana in a post-fight drug test. Silva tested positive for drostanolone and androstane metabolites in a pre-fight drug test conducted by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. It was the first positive drug test of the legend’s 18-year MMA career, and he got caught for these banned substances in a pre-fight drug test taken Jan. 9. As for Diaz, he tested positive for marijuana metabolities in a post-fight drug test taken Jan. 31. It’s the third time in his 14-year career that Diaz tested positive for a banned substance — all three times being marijuana. Although marijuana is considered a banned substance in competition, I personally don’t think it is a performance enhancing drug and I believe it’s just a matter of time until it is taken off the banned substance list. That’s not to give Diaz a free pass — he will ultimately be suspended by the NSAC and may retire if the suspension is long enough — but at the same time, what Diaz did pales in comparison to what Silva did. When I heard the news Silva got busted for steroids, I was absolutely floored as Silva is a guy who I always thought was a clean fighter who followed the rules and who was an example to those who believed there were still some clean, elite athletes in the sport. After hearing about him testing positive for steroids, I have lost a lot of respect for Silva and I’m always left wondering a) has he been taking steroids his whole career and just hasn’t been caught and b) if Silva took steroids, what other star fights took/are taking steroids that we don’t know about? I’m not going to sit here and speculate about what other fighters may have did or may have not done, so I’ll focus on Silva instead. I’m absolutely disappointed in him. I really can’t believe it. This is a guy who is a role model for many young people coming up in the sport, and he’s also a guy who was the reason many of us got into MMA in the first place. After years of believing Silva was the best because he had the best striking technique of any fighter in the game, now I’m left wondering if he’s needed a little bit of help this entire time, and it’s a really, really disappointing feeling as I always wanted to believe Silva was one of the clean champions of MMA. Silva screwed up, big time, and he will have to face the consequences for his actions. Should the positive drug test hold up after a second test confirming it, I expect Silva to be suspended nine months for a first-time drug offence. At 40 years of age, one has to wonder if he’ll ever fight again. As for Diaz, since it’s his third time testing positive for marijuana, he’ll likely be suspended two years, but I expect him to retire anyways so it’s a moot point. Getting back to Silva though, this is really awful news, and a shock to the system, and I’m still trying to process it. I am looking forward to hearing what kind of excuse Silva comes up with, but I suspect he will say his steroid use had something to do with his recovery from a broken leg. Whatever the excuse is, though, it’s wrong. He cheated, got caught, and now he’ll have to pay the ultimate price: Losing the respect of the fans.
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