Former UFC champion Silva fails second drug test

February 17, 2015
Anderson Silva is widely considered to be the greatest UFC fighter of all time © Getty Images

Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva has failed a second drug test administered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

NSAC executive director Bob Bennett confirmed to ESPN.com on Tuesday that Silva, 39, failed his post-fight urine test after a unanimous decision win against Nick Diaz at UFC 183 on January 31.

Silva tested positive for the steroid drostanolone - the same banned substance he tested positive for during an out-of-competition test taken on January 9. Silva also tested positive for the anti-anxiety medication Oxazepam and Temazepam, which is used to treat sleep deprivation.

In total, Silva (34-6) submitted to three NSAC tests. He tested positive for drostanolone and androstane on January 9. He then provided a clean sample on January 19, followed by a second failed test on January 31.

Silva, who had never tested positive for a banned substance before, initially faced a nine-month suspension for his first offence. Bennett did not know whether the commission would increase that length because of a second failed test.

"I can't speak for the [NSAC] Chairman nor can I speak for the commissioners," Bennett told ESPN.com. "But something I find particularly concerning is that he tested positive on January 9 and then he tested negative on January 19. If he took this orally, it only stays in your system 5-to-7 days.

"So, obviously, he used it sometime around January 9 and then he used it shortly before the night of the fight. Whether the commission finds this egregious - that he tested positive twice out of three times - is up to them. I certainly find it concerning and unacceptable. It gives an unfair advantage to the person on that. God forbid, a serious injury were to occur to an opponent when someone is on something."

Silva, widely considered the greatest fighter of all time, has denied knowingly taking any banned substance.

"I have not taken any performance-enhancing drugs," Silva said, shortly after the initial failed test. "My stance on drugs is and will always be the same. I'm an advocate for a clean sport."

The NSAC is scheduled to temporarily suspend Silva during a meeting on Wednesday. A disciplinary hearing, which Silva would be required to attend, will most likely be scheduled in March.

Diaz (26-10) also failed his fight night drug test for marijuana metabolites. He tested negative for all other banned substances. The NSAC will determine whether to change the result of the fight to a no-contest at a later date, most likely during Silva's disciplinary hearing.

Silva's fight night sample, collected on January 31, arrived at the processing lab in Salt Lake City on February 2, according to lab reports relayed by Bennett. The lab reported the results to the NSAC on February 10.

Bennett said results were not immediately circulated to the media as a courtesy to the licensed athlete, Silva.

According to Bennett, Silva's representatives had inquired on the possibility of testing the "B" sample of his first failed test but have so far not submitted an official request to do so. The lab report is expected to be made available on the commission's website.

This article originally appeared on ESPN.com

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