The bad news for MMA icon Wanderlei Silva (pictured) is that he has been suspended three years by the Nevada Athletic Commission for running from a random drug test. The good news for Silva is that the ban is retroactive to his disappearing act in May 2014, so he could fight again in 15 months if he chooses.
The NAC levied their punishment during Wednesday’s hearing.
When the NAC sprung a surprise drug test on Silva in May of 2014 at his gym in Las Vegas, Silva bolted out the back door and never looked back. As far as the committee is concerned, a skipped test is a failed test.
“The Axe Murderer” claimed the reason he didn’t oblige to the random drug exam was because it was accompanied with paperwork that he wasn’t prepared to sign without his attorney present, primarily because the documents were in English.
Silva later admitted he had taken diuretics and anti-inflammatories to treat a wrist injury.
UFC doctors prescribed Silva anti-inflammatory medication following his on-set brawl with Sonnen on “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3.” An X-ray in early May confirmed a fractured wrist. On his own accord, Silva then proceeded to seek out diuretics to minimize water retention.
Diuretics are commonly classified as a banned substance due to their use as a masking agent to prevent detection of other illegal substances.
Silva claims he’s never knowingly taken any performance-enhancing drugs during his 20-year career.
The NAC initially issued Silva a lifetime ban and $70,000 fine, but the Nevada District Court overturned that “arbitrary” punishment.
Silva subsequently announced his retirement from MMA, but not before blasting the UFC for disrespect on his way out. He also accused his former employer of “fixing fights.”
Last month, Silva retracted his accusations against the UFC and was granted his release.
It was believed Bellator MMA would be Silva’s next stop, particularly since he’s been serving as an ambassador for the UFC’s biggest rival for the past couple of years. However, today’s suspension could change things.
Silva could choose to fight outside of America where the NAC’s ban is irrelevant, so a return to Japan where he made his claim to MMA fame in the early 2000s is possible. If the 38-year-old chooses this route, he would find it nearly impossible to get licensed again in America after his suspension expires.