Tim Sylvia = Banned Substance at UFC 44

Oct 7, 2003
Official release from Team Extreme and Miletich Fighting Systems:

UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia announced today that he had taken a banned substance prior to his title defense against Gan McGee on Sept. 26 in Las Vegas.

"I made a terrible mistake... the biggest mistake of my life," Sylvia said. "I wish I could take it back, but that isn't possible. So, I'm ready to accept the consequences for my actions."

The Nevada State Athletic Commission notified Sylvia of the infraction earlier this week. Sylvia hopes to have a hearing in front of the board on Oct. 15 in Las Vegas.

"After I won the title, I wanted to look better... to have a better physique," Sylvia said. "I have never taken steroids before, so I tried it for a month after the Ricco fight. Now, it's obvious that it was a big mistake."

Sylvia said he will abide by whatever decisions are made by the NSAC and Zuffa.

"I just want to apologize for letting people down... my fans, my teammates, my family, the Nevada State Athletic Commission and the UFC," Sylvia said. "I can't express how disappointed I am in myself right now. I've gotten such great support from so many people... I hope they will stick by me and help me get through this. I want to accept responsibility for what I did, do whatever I have to do to put it behind me, and move on with my career."
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