Thiago Silva Has License Revoked, Gets Fined, and UFC 125 a No Contest

April 7, 2011
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Thiago Silva at UFC 108

Thiago Silva

UFC fighter Thiago Silva won’t be seeing the inside of the Octagon for until at least 2012. That was part of the decision rendered on Thursday by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for Silva submitting a urine sample “inconsistent with human urine.”

The drug test in reference was for Silva’s fight against Brandon Vera at UFC 125 on Jan. 1 in Las Vegas. Silva won the fight, but the result of that fight was also part of the NSAC ruling and punishment doled out on Thursday.

When all was said and done, the NSAC ruling stated that Silva’s license was revoked for one year with a start date of Jan. 1, he was fined 25 percent of his $55,000 purse, fined $20,000 of his $55,000 win bonus, would have to submit a clean drug test before reapplying on or after Jan. 2, 2012, and the result of the fight was changed to a “no contest.”

The total of the fines comes to $33,750, when both the percentage of his fight purse and win bonus are combined.

NSAC executive director Keith Kizer lobbied the commission for a start date of April 7 for the license revocation, which basically would have added three months to the penalty, due to Silva not “coming clean” on the test result until after the second sample was tested. Kizer felt that Silva should have come forth following his original notification of the failed test result on Feb. 7, but instead waited out the B sample testing in hopes of getting off “scott free.”

The commission weighed the merits of Kizer’s request, but seemed to feel that over the last “three or four years” the precedent, regardless of the motives of the accused parties, was to begin the revocation on the date of the contest in question.

Silva detailed how he was able to provide the fake sample. He said he purchased it off the Internet, hid a vial of the sample in his shorts, and then poured it into the collection cup, while the Nevada inspector stood behind him.

Aside from assigning blame and punishment to Silva for his actions, the commission also accepted some responsibility for the situation. The commission indicated that had the inspector fulfilled his duties to the “letter of the law” laid out by Nevada’s regulations, Silva would not have gotten away with submitting a fake sample, and called for a stern review of its own procedures.

Got something to say? Weigh in with a thought of your own in the comments section below.

Ken Pishna is the managing editor of
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  • So what do you guys think, is this a harsh enough penalty to deter things like this in the future? And is NSAC at fault for not catching Silva in the process? Curious on your reactions.

    • ShockednAwed

      I really don’t think there’s any deterrent for any athletes using banned substances. The IOC catch people every two years at each subsquent Games, despite very harsh penalties, and it will never end.

      I don’t know why, but I want to give Silva the benefit of the doubt with his side of the story from last week. That doesn’t absolve him of responsibility, but I tend to think the punishment fits the crime in that case.

  • BigGuy

    What a steaming piece of shit this guy is! He isn’t man enough to train and win fairly, so he resorts to cheating. I think it’s time that athletes learn their lesson from other athletes, and enjoy a lifetime ban if caught drugging. How many times do we have to see someone get caught before they are sorry, and supposedly stay drug free???
    If you are caught the first time, you are OUT! I guarantee you that it would make athletes think much harder than the slap on the wrists they currently receive. It’s all a joke! And the “fine” is an outrage! He cheated, and admitted it. Why does he get to keep any of it???

    MMA, MLB, NFL, etc…All a joke!

    • ShockednAwed

      I think you should read Silva’s admission from last week.

      No question, he screwed up, but just because someone became a top-class athlete doesn’t take away their human nature.

  • Silva is lucky they didn’t suspend him longer. There was some definite premeditation involved. At least he didn’t use a whizzinator. How embarrassing would it be for Vera if he got beat like a drum for 3 rounds by a guy wearing a rubber weenie. (I kid, I kid)

    Wonder if the commission rep is going to get in trouble for not following the test procedures.

    • ShockednAwed

      Hey, if the rep doesn’t get in trouble from his superiors, he’s at least gonna get browbeaten by his colleagues, who now won’t be able to get away with standing behind guys – it’s back to Pecker Checkin’ for all of ’em now! 😀

  • Great feedback guys. I find it interesting the wide array of responses.

    I know that he’s had his job taken away for a year, but man, it’s hard not to want it to be more severe when these things are so premeditated.

    I mean, look at where professional cycling is at, trying to get away from doping and such being almost a foregone conclusion in that sport.

    • ShockednAwed

      I just think the reasons for usage, even if premeditated, should open the door for some leniency, if necessary.
      It’s the guys that constantly stand by the “I didn’t do it” statements even after positive results that piss me off, personally. Those are the ones I consider cheaters, and the ones I’d like to see banned for life, from any sport.
      Guys like Silva, in this case, if he is indeed being honest about everything, make stupid mistakes, and should be (eventually) allowed to atone.

  • Hey Ken, his total fine ($33,750) comes out to be roughly 30% of his pay (show + win money combined was $110,000). Is this consistant with other fines we’ve seen over the years? I seem to remember Karo’s fine – pay ratio being quite a bit higher and all he did was fail a drug test. Silva failed a drug test and provided a false sample. Seems like he got off kind of easy.

    I guess my question is does the commission (Nevada and others) impose fines and penalties based on any kind of predetermined standard? If fighter “A” does this he will be fined “X” amount of dollars or %….. Or is there no precedent.

    Would a professional boxer who made $10,000,000 for a fight be fined 30% of his total pay ($3,000,000) if he did what Silva did? Or would he face a lesser fine?

    • I’ll try to find out more about that, but I think it is a fairly flexible system, just kind of thinking about it off the top of my head.

      Kevin Randleman, busted for the same basic thing as Silva, had his license revoked, but was only fined like $5,000 I think.

      The things that happen a lot, busted for pot, and things like that, typically fall into a standard length of suspension and fine, but there doesn’t seem to be a clear XX percent fine or the like.

  • Jmoney

    silva was once one of my favorite fighters… this makes me want to spit on him… Vera is trying to make a come back and you got this dumb shit cheating… there should be zero tolerance in a sport like this… vera’s nose was pointing in 3 different directions after the fight… and what does he get besides a broken face? a no contest instead of the loss. i still think it’s BULLSHIT.

  • somecokehead

    As soon as Silva got knocked out by Machida… He became a different fighter. He had to cheat to beat Vera? Not only that, how do you figure they are going to miss dog piss? At least use human piss. Not a smart man. Now what? Wait another year and fight who? Doubt Thiago will have another run since he feels he is too weak to fight on a level playing field. Two thumbs down for Silva.

  • BigGuy

    Put things in perspective:

    If you work on computers all day, and you are caught taking drugs, you are likely to be terminated. No lives are on the line…Nobody gets hurt.

    If you fight for a living, and some asswipe decides to take growth hormones, you can be killed. Just because it hasn’t happened yet- doesn’t mean it won’t. This premeditated decision could have cost Vera a lot more than just a win. It is unfair, and the athletic commission is irresponsible for their handling of this. Period.

    I don’t care that Bonds and Canseco use steroids to hit a stupid baseball. I DO care that someone’s poor decision could potentially take away another mans ability to feed his family.

    Silva should be shunned from the sport, and made an example out of. But as long as people are making money, who cares, right???

  • Today is the last day of his suspension, should be hearing about his next fight any day now.