UFC light heavyweight Thiago Silva received a one-year ban starting from Jan. 1 and was fined $33,750 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Thursday for faking a drug test before his UFC 125 win over Brandon Vera on New Year’s Day.
The commission cited Silva’s cooperation and year-long suspension as the reason for the reduced fine, which was twenty-percent of his fight purse and $20,000 from his win bonus.
Silva’s victory was also overturned to a “no contest.”
NSAC executive director Keith Kizer recommended the suspension to start from today, citing Silva’s delay in coming forward. However, the NSAC kept the suspension start date at January 1 since suspensions are typically started on the date of the fight regardless of admission or appeal.
Silva stated that he took two epidural injections (typically a combination of a local anesthetic and corticosteroid) for herniated disks in his back. The first injection was 45 days before the fight and the second 30 days out. Silva admitted he purchased synthetic urine two weeks before the fight, hid the fake sample in his shorts, and slipped in the fake sample with the inspector behind him. Silva cited financial trouble and family as his motivation for his actions.
NSAC commissioner Francisco Aguilar stated:
“Had our inspectors been doing the job that they are hired to do and are expected to do by this commission, this would have never happened. I think we have to look at ourselves, and we have to look at the process, and we have to look at our inspectors to make sure we have the best inspectors in that room, who are willing to forego the social aspect of a fight and be there to do a job.”
Silva will be eligible for reinstatement January 2, 2012.