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UFC 183’s double drug testing failures leads us to ask these basic questions…

By Zach Arnold | February 3, 2015

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Anderson Silva reportedly tested positive for two different kinds of steroids on a January 9th Nevada State Athletic Commission-administered drug test. Silva fought Nick Diaz this past weekend in Las Vegas.

First question: Why are fighters allowed to fight if they fail a pre-fight drug test?

Second series of questions: If the Nevada State Athletic Commission is doing pre-fight drug testing of fighters, are they receiving the results of such drug tests before the fight actually occurs? If not, what is the point of doing pre-fight drug testing? What is the purpose of pre-fight drug testing other than to catch fighters doping and suspend them before they fight while allegedly using performance-enhancing drugs?

As for where this leaves Silva’s future career prospects, is a fight with Chris Weidman officially off the table? Is the only fight left for Silva, at this point in time, a not-as-dreamy-as-used-to-be super fight with Georges St. Pierre?

Silva was also reportedly not the only fighter to fail a drug test. Nick Diaz allegedly failed a Nevada State Athletic Commission post-fight drug test for… marijuana. Last week, we asked the following questions on Twitter:

Additionally, what is the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s future stance going to be regarding testing fighters for cocaine like they did with Jon Jones? Is it going to be the official position of the Commission that cocaine is a performance-enhancing drug? If not, why continue to test for cocaine metabolites in the future? If cocaine is considered a PED, why hasn’t Jon Jones been formally suspended?


I knew Anderson Silva was quite the popular fellow, but the general sports media decided to cover his positive drug test as a big deal. Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports is calling for Anderson’s retirement.

Anderson Silva is proclaiming his innocence for the positive drug test result. He’s proclaiming his innocence via Dr. Marcio Tannure, who also happens to be the doctor for Brazil’s MMA commission.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 22 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

22 Responses to “UFC 183’s double drug testing failures leads us to ask these basic questions…”

  1. david m says:

    This whole story is amazing. The idea that the NSAC didn’t have the results until now is a ridiculous flat out lie. Clearly they were pressured or decided on their own impetus to not release the results until after the fight.

  2. Chris says:

    Just shaking my head right now.

  3. Dave says:

    NSAC was able to get CIR testing complete in a day when questions were asked, but a prefight test fail they cannot get results for three weeks. The only thing that matters when you do a pre-fight test is that you get the results before the fight. That is the only thing that matters. It smells really bad.
    I would like to ask Bob Bennet “Did you ask the lab for the results before the fight”?

  4. Zack says:

    NSAC is a joke.

    Glad to have you back, Zach.

  5. david m says:

    I wrote an article about this farce, and about the repercussions (or lack thereof) that the UFC will face:

  6. 45 Huddle says:

    Came here ready to comment on the delay. A complete joke. They don’t want to lose their money and are completely corrupt.

  7. 45 Huddle says:

    A few more comments:

    1) The excuse for a delayed result might seem decent if they didn’t hide the Jon Jones positive cocaine results before. But now this is two main events in a row of shady activity.

    2) I highly doubt GSP will ever come back now. He is a smart guy and saw how slow Silva was from a long hiatus. And he saw how messed up his legacy will become from one bad drug test. Who knows, this could effect Lesnar too.

    3) It’s not just the drug shady stuff with the UFC and NSAC. We saw it on Saturday with a fighter being 10 pounds overweight, having to go to the hospital, and the fight still happening. They just don’t care about the safety of the fighters.

    4) How bad does it look now that the UFC is refusing to test fighters themselves out of competition?

    • Mark says:

      Lesnar has been shrinking as of late, which is why the speculation he’s leaving WWE got so big. Meltzer said he looks like he’s trying to get back to 285 to cut.

  8. Mark says:

    1) $$$$$$$$

    2) It’s for show. Try to scare the fighters into thinking they’d better not use drugs/PEDs or cycle off a month out. But if they’re a draw, it’ll be revealed after they get their cut of the gate.

    I don’t know if they’re not covering it. It was a top story IIRC, #3 behind the Jordan/ISIS incidents and the measles outbreak last night on Google News. Also the #2 story on the Sports section right now behind the Josh Gordon suspension. That’s more than Jon Jones got.

  9. Mike Lawrence says:

    Isn’t it a crime to obtain and use prescription drugs like steroids? I think Black House in CA should be looking like a target rich environment for any Illegal steroid investigation right about now. Greg Jackson as well if you are a DEA agent who wants to add a major cocaine bust to your record.

    At this point I’m really feeling law enforcement needs to step in any time there appears to be a crime in a failed drug test.

    • Mark says:

      They generally only go after shady doctors, not the drug buyers. So if some doctor is giving ‘scrips to a bunch of MMA fighters ala George Zahorian or Signature Pharmacy, the DEA would go after them.

  10. 45 Huddle says:

    I am not Nick Diaz fan…. but he got screwed here.

    If I was him, I would file a $50 Million lawsuit against the NSAC and the UFC and eventually all the info of who covered it up would come out.

    • Jonathan says:

      It would take money and follow-through to carry out that lawsuit, and those are two things I think that Nick Diaz is lacking in.

      • Mark says:

        Yes. Plus he’s not sympathetic, even though obviously marijuana isn’t a PED. But he’s a guy who knows the rules and still failed twice in a row.

    • Jason says:

      How did he get screwed? He knows pot is a banned substance in Nevada and he chose to smoke it anyways. No ones fault but his own.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        He got screwed because he fought a guy on roids who shouldn’t have competed and it was swept under the rug to make money.

        • Jason says:

          I would agree with you if Nick also didn’t break the rules. Assuming both were tested pre-fight and the results were known prior to the fight and both were allowed to fight, then the bigger issue why were they allowed to fight? To say money was not involved would be a naive thing to say. An investigation needs to be conducted to determine who was at fault, NSAC or UFC or both.

        • edub says:

          Jason: Diaz tested fine before the fight (The NAC even tested him multiple times according to reports before they let him fight).

          Diaz’s failure was the post-fight drug screen.

        • DIAZ'S PACKED BOWL says:

          Not to mention Androstane Silva had that titanium bar in his kicking leg. Thats like punching with a roll of quarters in your fist! thats like a weapon right there! that aint right…

  11. Terrence says:

    The NAC also licensed Nick Diaz to fight at the last minute after he failed multiple pre-fight drug tests. This explains why the NAC said “no comment” when asked about Diaz’ licensing status before the fight. So both fighters in the main event failed pre-fight drug tests, but the NAC was so determined not to lose the main event that they ignored all the positive tests until after the event.

    The very least that needs to happen now is for Bob Bennett and Francisco Aguilar to resign or get fired.

    That’s the bare minimum of what needs to happen.

    • edub says:

      Drugs of abuse aren’t “failures” as far as the NAC is concerned. That’s why Diaz was tested a bunch of times rather than just disqualified from one dirty screen.

  12. rst says:

    “…a not-as-dreamy-as-used-to-be super fight with Georges St. Pierre?”

    Or maybe T.J. Dillashaw or Demetrious Johnson?

    Never thought the praise anderson got for loitering in a weak and cleared out division for years was proportionate, or that him challenging champions from smaller divisions was all that dreamy.
    (Obviously I would never make a good promoter.)

    As far as Diaz I’m pretty sure he’s done with the fulltime chasing the belt grind. Maybe the reason he didn’t feel bothered to stop smoking the pot is becasue he doesn’t plan on fighting more then once every year and a half in “boutique” fights (I like Diaz/Bisping), and he’ll be off suspension again by then.
    Although I wonder how many times they’ll let him make that a hobby.


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