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Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Written by Tom Ngo
January 13th, 2009
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EliteXC heavyweight champion Antonio Silva filed a Civil action against the California State Athletic Commission on January 7th.  Silva and his legal team are seeking a “writ of mandate,” or a ruling from the court that will supersede the CSAC’s decision to suspend the fighter for one year, due to his alleged steroid use. They would like for Silva to be granted another hearing to prove his innocence.

Silva defeated Justin Eilers via TKO in the 2ndRound  of their bout on July 26th at “Unfinished Business.”  After the bout, Silva subsequently tested positive for the banned substance, Boldenone.

The Brazilian immediately denied any wrongdoing. He was suspended for one year retroactive to the date of their last bout, and fined $2,500 each.

At a CSAC hearing on October 22nd in Los Angeles, Silva, his manager Alex Davis, and world-renowned doping attorney Howard Jacobs appealed the fighter’s sentence, stating that the Commission’s tests resulted in a “false positive” from the over-the-counter nutritional supplement Novedex that Silva had taken.

Novedex, contains the testosterone booster ATD, is currently not included on the CSAC’s list of banned substances.  The supplement has also created false readings for Boldenone in the past, as well.

At the hearing, Jacobs also presented clean test results from an independent specimen that Silva sent to the AEGIS laboratory in Florida on September 3rd, roughly 40 days after he submitted his sample to the Commission.

On January 7th, the Commission ruled upheld their initial ruling, stating that the initial positive urinalysis test was conclusive proof of Silva’s steroid use is “both legally and factually inaccurate.”

Instead of sitting out for something that he feels he didn’t do, Silva decided to circumvent the system and take on Yoshihiro Nakao at Sengoku 7 in Japan. Japan does not have a commission and rarely will abide by suspensions handed down to fighters in the States.

Silva took the fight knowing that he and his cornermen were at risk of losing their fighting licenses in the U.S.

If the Commission decides to revoke Silva and his cornermen’s licenses, it would mean that they are banned from fighting in all U.S. commissioned states until California grants him a new license. A new license couldn’t be issued for at least one year from the date of revocation.

While they fight this issue out in court, Silva remains committed to his innocence and will remain active in Japan until his innocence is proven.

“He’s going to fight in Japan until we figure this out,” said Davis. “If he has to fight in Japan forever, like I said, he just doesn’t have a choice.”

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