Steroids in MMA
Which MMA Fighter Will Test Positive For Steroids Next?

Thiago Silva Gets One-Year Suspension and $33,750 Fine For Trying to Cheat UFC 125 Drug Test Using Synthetic Urine

(“I’m pissed. That son of a bitch sold me a six pack of that shit and said it was the good stuff.”)

UFC light heavyweight Thiago Silva won’t be able to fight again until at least January 1, 2012, and he will be $33,750 lighter in the wallet and will have one less win on his record when he finally returns to competition.

Silva was handed the hefty suspension and fine and had the result of his UFC 125 win over Brandon Vera changed to a “no-contest”after admitting in a hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission today that he used steroids and tried to mask his wrongdoing by providing a synthetic urine sample he purchased online for his pre-fight drug screen.

According to MMAJunkie’s John Morgan who was present at the hearing,
Silva waived his right for an attorney and additional time to prepare a defense and instead admitted what he took and explained the method he used to try to fool the lab.

“I’m here just to tell the truth,” Silva said.

He detailed how he received two epidural injections — 45 and 30 days out from the bout with Vera — of an unnamed steroid by his doctor to help speed recovery from a back injury and that he purchased the synthetic urine he used for his drug screening test online from He likely would have gotten away with it had the lab used by NSAC not been a World Anti-Doping Agency-approved test center that utilized hormone-screening processes to determine if test samples are both human and from the same sex as the provider of the specimen (insert Cyborg joke here).

Silva explained that he knew using the drug was against NSAC rules, but said he felt pressured to compete in spite of being hurt because he had not fought in a year due to the same injury and his family’s livelihood depended on him being paid for the bout.

“I just want to apologize for what I did. I did what I did because my back was very, very bad a couple months (before the fight). I had not fought for one year. I was completely broke. I have a family. People depend on my money. I was desperate to do something.I know what I did is wrong. Like I said, I’m so sorry. I had my reasons. People depend on my money, and I had to give them support.”

He detailed how he simply turned his back on the commission rep assigned to oversee the drug tests administered two weeks prior to the New Year’s Day event in Las Vegas and opened the container containing the fake urine and dumped it into a sample cup without the commissioner noticing.

NSAC executive director Keith Kizer tried to make an example of Silva for not admitting any wrongdoing until caught by requesting that his suspension start today, rather than retroactive to the date of UFC 125. However, when put to a vote, the other members of the commission voted in favor of allowing the days since the bout to count against the suspension due in part to Silva’s “candor” and also because the commission dropped the ¬†for not watching the sample collection more closely.

Originally, the commission wanted to take Silva’s entire $55,000 win bonus and 1/3 of his $55,000 purse, but decided instead to hold back 1/4 of his purse and $20,000 of his win bonus for a total of $33,750.

The UFC has yet to comment on the situation.

Two important questions now arise from the hearing:

Should commissions be required to test fighters year-round for PEDs using sport-wide WADA approved methods like NSAC employs to ensure a level playing field?


Do fighters need a union to negotiate minimum salaries for fighters rather than simply “pay-to-play” and performance bonus-based incentives promotions currently dole out that include a living wage so competitors don’t ever have to feel that they need to cheat to compete?

Cagepotato Comments

Showing 1-25 of comments

Sort by : Show hidden comments
hoolycnd- April 3, 2012 at 1:01 am
come quickly to join in our site to get cheap MBT Shoes with the best quality to never let you down.
our website: MBT Shoes
asdlin- April 9, 2011 at 12:57 am
high quality? reasonable price?
free shi pping accept pay pal,
you can order all kind of things you want,
believe me , trust me .
??? -=?
Fried Taco- April 8, 2011 at 7:38 am
Fried Taco- April 8, 2011 at 7:37 am
Damn you Thiago, my stock in just took a bit hit. Now we're both going to be broke.
ArmFarmer- April 8, 2011 at 5:53 am
I thought Thiago was a piece of shit before any of this came out.. the fact that he is owning up to his synthetic urine.. something that seems pretty impossible to deny anyway.. means nothing to me. The guy is just a Dbag and I hope the first thing that happens to him on his return is a brutal ko.

On a more important note, that is possibly the funniest caption I have ever seen. I literally lol'd when I read it.
LOKI- April 8, 2011 at 5:20 am
This has been talked to death, I just wanted to mention how much I love that picture!
Dyph- April 7, 2011 at 7:43 pm
Just read Jsteez comment and though he won't win any English/grammar awards(but what doctor would, you ever tried to read those scripts?)he fucking hit it. You don't get performance enhancing epidurals or spinal injections for a back injury.
Dyph- April 7, 2011 at 7:36 pm
The fact that this sort of behavior exists in the first place bothers me, as far as I'm concerned we have a league for juicers to compete(overseas). What really gets me is that it isn't his 'fault'...I have personal experience with severe back injury and I can't help but wonder; what was actually wrong with Silva that could somehow warrant PED's, and be fixed by them? On the legitimate end he could have the odd cortisone injection for scarred tissue, but I fail the see this a fitting result as in general usage it doesn't enhance anything, and isn't given via epidural. At the end of that day, anyone with a legit back injury gets nothing but a lengthy recovery and endless fights with insurance.

As far as the italicized questions closing this article go I have to say this, turn the spotlight to the tradesman that keep a roof over your head, running water and heat(etc) in your homes. People who can't come to work and cheat at the risk of losing their bread; and for the majority are not unionized, work under heavy physical circumstances and injured frequently(if you happen to be part of...say...the plumbers union you are welcome to throw your fluff at the email). Such is life, these guys make better than a decent living in most cases and should be subject to the same scrutiny as any other working person. Didn't several people just lose their jobs at the Detroit Chrysler plant for taking lunch breaks in a crack house?
BaghdadBob- April 7, 2011 at 7:00 pm
What a dumbass.
cecils_pupils- April 7, 2011 at 6:40 pm
Props to Thiago for manning-up and NOT LYING when he got caught. No respek for Sonnen or Barnett, you lyin' muthafuckas.
RwilsonR- April 7, 2011 at 6:20 pm
"dole out...a living wage"
Fucking stupid ass do-gooder socialists meddling in business that they don't understand. Keep your unions and your "living wage" crap out of this sport.
Jsteez- April 7, 2011 at 6:19 pm
I am throwin the bullish*t flag on Thiago. I am a Physican and I do epidural injections for a living. The steroids that we inject are corticosteroids NOT anabolic steroids. The is zero chance a modern drug test would confuse these two. While corticosteroids can help decrease your pain, i would hardly consider them PADs. Therefore no reason to submit fake pee.
the silver hawaiian- April 7, 2011 at 6:18 pm
After the fact

Ain't zacklee admitting...

Ain't admitting if you're otherwise compelled..
RwilsonR- April 7, 2011 at 6:16 pm
Thiago Silva and his dumbass honesty. Every moron who has just gone up there and lied, and presented a half-assed story to question the test results has had their suspension reduced to six months. Lie = 6 months. Tell the truth = 12 months. If you can be unscrupulous enough to cheat in the first place, how hard is it to just lie once more?
danomite- April 7, 2011 at 5:13 pm
nevermind, Jael was caught by the CSAC. either way though, there's no way a guy who lies about cheating should get off easier than a guy who manned up and admitted to it.
danomite- April 7, 2011 at 5:11 pm
so Silva admits his wrongdoing (after being caught), is completely open and honest with the commission, and takes his punishment like a man and gets a year suspension and 40k taken from him? Meanwhile, Jael Sonnen denies all wrongdoing, bullshits the commission with a sob story about his useless balls, calls the commissioner a liar (then later comes up with an even lamer excuse for that) and he gets a $2500 fine and a 6-month suspension.
What did we learn today class? if you're gonna be a cheater, you better be a liar too. WAY TO GO NSAC!!! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.
your mother.- April 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm
nigga gets insta-respek for admitting it.

i can't wait till he comes back, he's damn entertaining.

i wonder who brandon vera will lose to next?
brownjhole- April 7, 2011 at 4:24 pm
VERA 2011
Reverend_Clint- April 7, 2011 at 4:20 pm
the NSAC needs to hire the Hog Watcher to make sure guys are pissing themselves, that came out wrong. Or maybe use blood samples.
macreadysshack- April 7, 2011 at 4:08 pm
I told you guys that Brandon Vera is a badass. He can sweep anybody who's not on super-soldier serum, force a stand-up and then coast his way to a judges decision despite having the opportunity to win the fight no less than three times.

Brandon Vera UFC Light Heavyweight Champ 2011
CaptnJonesy- April 7, 2011 at 3:59 pm
All of the punishment in the world isn't going to bring back Brandon Vera's manhood
Mike Russell- April 7, 2011 at 3:59 pm
Vera has been brought back.
dude- April 7, 2011 at 3:58 pm
Does this mean Brandon Vera is getting a second chance with the UFC???
Fedor Penn- April 7, 2011 at 3:49 pm
If he isn't lying about being broke then I would have done the same thing to feed my family. Lesson learned and I won't hold it against him.
PurplePickle- April 7, 2011 at 3:43 pm
The NFL has a union as well as minimum salaries and players still use PEDs. A certain segment of people who use their bodies in sport to earn a living will always skirt the rules for an advantage.