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Attorney Claims Nevada Commission has No Jurisdiction Over Wanderlei Silva

Posted on by Ken Pishna

Wanderlei SilvaWanderlei Silva was initially slated to go before the Nevada Athletic Commission on Thursday for a disciplinary hearing regarding his decision to evade the commission’s requested drug test in late May. The hearing did not take place after Silva’s attorney, Ross Goodman, filed a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint for Disciplinary Action for a lack of jurisdiction.

SEE ALSO: Wanderlei Silva Files Motion to Dismiss

Silva had agreed to fight Chael Sonnen on at UFC 175 on July 5, and even went so far as to appear at a May 23 press conference to promote the fight.

Both he and Sonnen were sought by an athletic commission representative on May 24 to submit to a random drug test as part of the commission’s efforts to curb performance enhancing substance use in combat sports.

Silva appeared before the athletic commission in June, where he admitted evading the representative that appeared at his gym, while also admitting that he had been on diuretics, which are prohibited substances, at the time that he evaded the test.

The NAC had been planning on holding a disciplinary hearing at Thursday’s regularly scheduled meeting, but that was before they received the Motion to Dismiss.

In the Motion, a copy of which was obtained by MMAWeekly.com, Goodman claims that because Silva did not have an active license in Nevada and no bout agreement had yet been signed, he was not under the commission’s jurisdiction and therefore was not required to submit to random drug testing or disciplinary action for evading the test.

NAC officials on May 30 confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that Silva had not applied for a license to fight in Nevada, as of that point in time.

“The NSAC (Nevada Athletic Commission) has never been vested with the authority to direct or order non-licensed persons to submit to a chemical test,” stated Goodman in the Motion to Dismiss. “Consequently, the NSAC lacks jurisdiction to seek disciplinary action against Mr. Silva, and any attempt to do so, clearly exceeds the NSAC’s limited statutory jurisdiction.”

Even if Goodman’s motion is upheld and the commission is found to lack jurisdiction in the matter, Silva may find it difficult to continue his career. He will likely face much closer scrutiny when he does finally apply for a license, and that is only if he gets to that point with the UFC.

UFC officials constantly reiterate in their statements when a fighter runs amiss of an athletic commission that the commission has the full support of the MMA juggernaut. It would definitely put a lot of pressure on the UFC to not just sweep the issue under the rug if the commission were found to be outside its jurisdiction.

Regardless, as of the Thursday afternoon, the matter had not been “solved,” as Silva believed in June.

Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for further developments.

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