Antonio Silva has been suspended for nine months. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has suspended Antonio Silva for nine months after the heavyweight produced elevated testosterone levels at UFC Fight Night 33.
UFC officials announced the news on Tuesday evening in an official statement, revealing that the heavyweight must pass a drug test after serving his suspension in order to return to action. “Bigfoot” will also forfeit his $50,000 “Fight of the Night” bonus, with the money now going to his opponent, Mark Hunt. MMAJunkie.com first reported the news on Tuesday evening.
“All fighters on the UFC Fight Night card were drug tested by an independent third-party laboratory at the event, and all fighters passed their drug tests with the exception of Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva,” the UFC statement read. “Although Silva is on a medically approved regimen of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) 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 allowable limit.”
UFC Fight Night 33 took place Dec. 7 from the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Brisbane, Australia. The Fox Sports 1-broadcast event was topped by Silva’s clash with Hunt, which resulted in a thrilling, five-round majority draw.
Silva, 34, previously tested positive for the anabolic steroid boldenone in 2008, resulting in a one-year suspension for the heavyweight. “Bigfoot” unsuccessfully challenged the suspension, asserting that the result was caused by the use of a legal supplement he took to treat symptoms of acromegaly.
The EliteXC veteran Tuesday posted a response to his recent positive test on his Facebook page.
“Clarification: 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. “I started the treatment, and two weeks before my fight I did all the exams required by the UFC. 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.”