(Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)
The California State Athletic Commission came down hard on Antonio Silva for flouting his steroid suspension and fighting in Japan last weekend, but they also proposed to fine and suspend his manager, American Top Team’s Alex Davis, for setting up the bout. Davis isn’t taking the action lying down however, as he told us this afternoon that he plans to pursue the matter in civil court.
“We’ve got to. I don’t see any other options at this point,” said Davis, who maintains that he can prove Silva’s innocence on the steroid charges. “We’re going to go through civil court.”
Davis described the CSAC’s action against himself and Silva’s cornermen as an attempt to “extend their jurisdiction to the whole world,” and said Silva was motivated by financial necessity to take a fight in Japan after the CSAC turned down his appeal on the steroid charges.
“Antonio has acromegaly. He has to treat it. He spends between $6,000 and $8,000 a month just on medicine for it,” Davis said. “He needs to be able to keep fighting to make a living. If it’s between Antonio’s health and pleasing the athletic commission, we have to choose his health.”
According to Davis, Silva’s positive test for Boldenone was caused by his use of Novadex, a testosterone-booster that Silva uses to counteract the low testosterone levels caused by his acromegaly.
“Even in their own minutes the CSAC admits that they can’t be certain the positive test was actually caused by Boldenone,” said Davis. “Once they had a positive test, they had to suspend him. We understand that. But once they had doubts they should have gone back and looked at the facts. They didn’t, and from there on nothing’s been fair. They didn’t investigate, they didn’t meet the burden of proof.
“I think they’re completely wrong in this. We’ve done two more tests with proper chain of command and witnesses.”
Davis said he initially hoped that the CSAC’s new executive director, Bill Douglas, would bring about much-needed change in the commission’s testing and appeals process. The CSAC was headed by Armando Garcia at the time of Silva’s positive test, and problems with the commission’s handling of such cases were already apparent.
“In Sean Sherk’s case, there were thirteen hours where they didn’t know where his sample was,” Davis pointed out.
But so far Douglas’ reign as commissioner has upheld the ruling against Silva, which means the Brazilian heavyweight will be staying in Japan for the foreseeable future, said Davis.
“We’re going to stay in Japan and continue to fight there. We’re not trying to undermine their authority, but this just isn’t fair. We’ve had the balls and the money to fight them, but what about the people who don’t? It takes a lot of money to fight something like this.”
It’s a fight that Davis is vowing to continue with a civil suit, he said, where at least he can be assured of a panel of unbiased jurors and a fair hearing.