UFC officials on Tuesday announced that UFC Fight Night 33 main eventer Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva was suspended for nine months and would forfeit his $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus. Silva tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone for his Dec. 7 bout with Mark Hunt in Brisbane, Australia.
Silva, however, issued a statement defending the high testosterone level.
“Months before my fight I looked for the UFC doctor Marcio Tannure in Brazil, so I could start the hormonal replacement ‘TRT,’ which was authorized and recognized by a professional,” Silva wrote on Facebook.
Dr. Tannure is the medical director of the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission, which is charged with regulating many MMA events, including the UFC, in Brazil.
“I started the treatment and 2 weeks before my fight; I did all the exams required by the UFC,” Silva continued. “My testosterone level continued to be low, so I was recommended by the doctor to increase the dosage. Unfortunately my level increased too much and caused me to suspend. I only did what was recommended by someone trained, who understands about the subject. Therefore, it was not my mistake.
“I'm cool because I know that the mistake was not made by me. I never tried doing anything wrong for my fight.”
Generally, at the end of the day, the responsibility for such situations falls on the athlete, which appears to be the case here, regardless of what Silva says.
“Although [Antonio] Silva is on a medically approved regimen of testosterone replacement therapy, and had been in compliance with therapeutic guidelines on all pre-fight tests performed prior to the event, the results of his test on the day of the event indicated a level of testosterone outside of [the] allowable limit,” UFC officials said in a statement. “Silva has been informed that the elevated testosterone level is a violation of the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy and his Promotional Agreement with Zuffa.”
Silva’s Fight of the Night bonus money now goes to Hunt, and he must also pass drug test upon completing the suspension before he is allowed to fight again.
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