(“Phew…They didn’t catch me.”)
When word got out yesterday that Thiago Silva gave the Nevada State Athletic Commission a non-human urine sample following his UFC 125 win over Brandon Vera in January, everyone expected the American Top Team fighter to follow in the footsteps of predecessors like Josh Barnett, Royce Gracie and Sean Sherk and deny any wrongdoing.
Well, in spite of his attempt at skirting NSAC rules, Silva has proven himself to be a bigger man than they are (and no, we’re not talking about the commission’s recent claim that it will be hiring a professional hogwatcher) by admitting he screwed up.
In a statement he sent MMAJunkie today, Silva admits that he tampered with the test by using a “urine adulterant,” meaning a chemical compound that cases dirty urine to register a false negative reading when tested. There are several products on the marked that claim to beat drug tests and even “clean” synthetic urine that can be purchased online for such purposes. Before we get into a pissing contest about who knows more about the science of beating urine tests, check out Silva’s explanation:
We make decisions every day of our lives. Some are good, and some are bad. When you make a bad decision, you can either make the situation worse by trying to cover it up or lie about it, or just stick your head in the sand and refuse to acknowledge it even happened. Or you can own up to it with an honest explanation, accept the consequences of your actions, apologize to the people affected by it, learn from it and move on.
I’m choosing the second option.
I used a urine adulterant when giving a sample following my fight with Brandon Vera. I did so in an attempt to alter the results of the test and knowingly broke the rules of the Nevada [State] Athletic Commission. This was a terrible decision on my part for which I will be punished. I am prepared to accept this punishment, learn from it and move on. I apologize to the commission, the UFC, Brandon Vera and the MMA fans.I do want to explain the circumstances behind my actions. Please do not interpret this as an attempt to justify my actions. I know they were wrong, and I know I made bad decisions, and I know I deserve to be punished. That is why I began my statement with an admission and an apology before going into these details.
This is not an excuse, only an explanation.
I had been tested on five prior occasions while fighting for the UFC before the Brandon Vera fight. Four of the tests were urine only, and one included a blood sample, as well in New Jersey the day before the fight. I passed each of those tests. I suffered a severe back injury shortly before the (January 2010) Rashad Evans fight. It was the biggest fight of my career, and there was no way I was going to pull out of it. I fought and lost and was out of action for a year rehabilitating the injury and getting ready to fight again.I reinjured my back 45 days before the fight with Brandon Vera. After not fighting for a year, I made the decision to not pull out of the fight. I also decided that the only way I could continue with the fight was to take injections in my back and spine that contained substances prohibited by the Nevada [State] Athletic Commission. I also made the decision to use a product to hide the presence of these substances in a urine test.
These decisions were mine and mine alone. I did not share this information with anyone prior to the fight for fear that I would not be allowed to fight. I obviously made a terrible decision. I have since learned that it may have even been possible to fight had I been open and honest and disclosed the injury and treatment prior to the fight. I also realize that not being allowed to fight as a result of the treatment would have been a better result than the mess into which I have now gotten myself. Again, I take full responsibility for making the decision to break the rules and try to cheat the system. I will accept the punishment I receive and will learn from this. I plan to come back as a better person and professional as a result.
It’s likely that the result of the bout will be changed to a “no contest.”
An NSAC hearing for Silva is set for April 7. The UFC has yet to make a statement about the situation, but it isn’t likely that Silva’s admission of guilt will prevent them from making an example of him, and rightly so. At least he still has Strikeforce….oh, wait.