Like most people, Wanderlei Silva has a lot of questions regarding the way the Nevada Athletic Commission handled the drug testing fort Jon Jones ahead of UFC 182.
Unlike many observers, “The Axe Murderer” has first-hand experience dealing with the NAC. In September, the UFC and Pride Fighting Championships veteran was handed a lifetime ban and $70,000 fine by the commission for fleeing a random drug test ahead of a scheduled bout against Chael Sonnen at UFC 175.
Silva retired prior to the hearing where his punishment was administered, claiming that the UFC took away his “desire to fight.” On Friday, the Brazilian posted a YouTube video blasting the NAC’s drug testing procedures.
“You are lost, you don’t know what you are doing,” Silva said in a sub-titled video. “Maybe a fighter tests positive and still fights because it’s in the commission’s interest. But what goes? The law or their interests? This sport has to be regulated. The way it’s going can’t continue. This commission is a mess. They don’t know what they are [doing].”
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Jones tested positive for cocaine metabolites during a pre-fight drug screening on Dec. 4 and had entered a treatment facility. That was just the beginning, however. It was unclear why Jones was tested for recreational drugs when they were not banned out-of-competition, according to World Anti-Doping Agency policy.
“So now, let’s analyze what happened to Jon Jones. They’re saying that test shouldn’t have been done out of competition and it was an accident,” Silva said his sub-titled video. “So they went to test him and accidentally tested for cocaine. But now Jon Jones’ champion image is damaged.
“So what’s the commission going to do about this?” he continued. “They go: ‘Ah, we don’t know, we’ll see what’s going to happen.’ Are there laws or are there no laws? Sometimes there are laws and sometimes there are none? There are no protocols to be followed? Where are the laws? Who voted for them? Who implements them?”
According to multiple reports, Jones was not informed of the positive test until after his victory over Daniel Cormier at UFC 182. The light heavyweight king will not be punished by the NAC because cocaine is not considered a banned substance in out-of-competition testing, which includes 12 hours before a contest and immediately afterward. NAC Executive Director Bob Bennett would later tell MMAFighting.com that an “administrative oversight” led to Jones being tested for cocaine.
While Silva understands the UFC’s bottom line, he is much less forgiving toward the NAC.
“Everybody knows that the UFC is a business. They put on fights to make money, and in those regards they’re not wrong. But the entity that implements the laws for the athletes, the entity that punishes athletes and controls their lives yet doesn’t know what they’re doing, just can’t be,” he said. “It’s a commission that doesn’t follow protocols or laws. So you better clean up this mess. How do you punish one and not the other? How do you ban one and suspend the other? What rights do you have; if you are clueless of what you are doing?
“I stand here today for things to be more organized and more clear. Because it can’t stay like this. Instead of regulating it, you are damaging the sport. You should protect the equality and the safety of the fighters. But you don’t know what you are doing.”
Meanwhile, Silva offered support for Jones, whose already shaky image has taken a significant hit with the most recent revelation.
We know you are a great champion and will overcome this. People like to criticize as if they were all saints and never did anything wrong. We are all human beings and we all make mistakes,” Silva said. “It’s important that you’ve already recognized the problem. You will step out of this and use this as a lesson for many people who have the same problem. Keep being the great champion that you are. You will show your champion’s strength by overcoming one more tough battle.”