(The hell of it is, the fight was no good anyway.)
We knew that Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva was making himself an enemy of the California State Athletic Commission by flouting their suspension and fighting in Japan anyway this past weekend, but we didn’t know that he might also have condemned the friends who aided and abetted him.
The CSAC is setting a February 10 hearing date to decide what to do about Silva, who claimed from the beginning that he was the victim of faulty steroid testing, but they’re also going after his cornermen and his manager, American Top Team’s Alex Davis, for negotiating the fight. Dave Meltzer says Davis has been fined $2,500 and suspended for the remainder of his license for setting up the bout, and the CSAC’s Bill Douglas is notifying all athletic commissions about Silva’s cornermen and the assistance they gave to this fugitive from steroid justice.
Sounds like Bill Douglas comes from the Keyser Soze school of management. He’s not just punishing Silva; he’s punishing his friends, his manager, his family, people who owe him money, people who owe his parents money… the point is, it’s needlessly harsh.
If a fighter gets suspended and decides to go out of the commission’s jurisdiction to fight, it’s expected that they’ll take action against him, maybe even keep him from fighting within their jurisdiction for a very long time. That’s fair. Silva knew that would happen when he went to Japan, but reasoned that fighting and making money over there was worth not fighting in the U.S.
But suspending his manager and cornermen is basically punishing them for their association with Silva. These are guys who have done nothing besides help a friend do something he had decided to do anyway. They weren’t under suspension. They didn’t test positive for steroids.
What’s more, all this stems from a contested positive test result in the jurisdiction of a commission with a poor track record for drug testing. Douglas actually suspended the testing altogether shortly after taking over for embattled former director Armando Garcia, and has only recently instituted new policies designed to maintain consistent results and handle appeals.
With all that still in the CSAC’s rearview mirror, you’d think they’d take a more lenient stance with regards to Silva’s manager and cornermen. Here’s hoping they appeal and give us all a chance to see how Douglas’ commission is different than Garcia’s. Hopefully the changes are more substantial than just a decrease in sexual harassment claims.