– ANTONIO SILVA FILES SUIT AGAINST COMMISSION

by Tom Hamlin – MMAWeekly.com
Former EliteXC heavyweight champion Antonio Silva has asked the Superior Court of Los Angeles to rule on his license revocation by the California State Athletic Commission for alleged steroid use.

Last Wednesday, Silva’s lawyer, Howard Jacobs, filed a petition in the higher court for a “writ of mandate,” a legal maneuver that could prevent the CSAC from upholding Silva’s punishment stemming from a positive test for Boldenone metabolites following his title-winning victory over Justin Eilers at “Unfinished Business” on July 26.

On Aug. 21, Silva was issued a yearlong suspension and $2,500 fine after his post-fight urine samples were returned from a World Anti-Doping Agency approved laboratory in Montreal, Canada. The CSAC upheld his punishment at an Oct. 22 hearing in Los Angeles.

On Jan. 4, Silva took a fight in Japan at Sengoku 7, prompting CSAC Assistant Executive Officer Bill Douglas to recommend his license be revoked at a Feb. 10 commission hearing.

The petition states Silva’s suspension and fine is invalid because the CSAC held Silva responsible for proving the test results false, despite claims that his use of an over the counter supplement called Novodex could have drawn a positive, thereby requiring the commission to prove it did not.

“(The CSAC) basically said, ‘well, you can’t prove that it actually came from the legal supplement, as opposed to from the banned substance, so you lose because you didn’t prove it to us,'” Jacobs told MMAWeekly.com. “We say we didn’t have to prove it, you had to prove it the other way around.”

During the Oct. 22 hearing, Silva’s manager, Alex Davis, told the commission he helped Silva fill out the pre-fight medical questionnaire for the July 26 bout because Silva could not speak or write English. Davis wrote “multivitamins” in a space provided for supplement use when Silva said he had taken supplements.

Since the suspension, Silva and Davis have steadfastly maintained innocence, claiming Silva could not use steroids because it would endanger his health. Silva suffers from acromegaly, a condition that causes the enlargement of facial and body features due to a tumor in the pituitary gland.

“We felt that the state athletic commission made the wrong decision, not just factually, but also legally,” Jacobs commented to MMAWeekly.com. “The rules in the state regulations allow this type of appeal to Superior Court, so that’s why we chose to do it.”

Next week, Davis will file another motion to set a date for the Superior Court hearing.

CSAC Assistant Executive Officer Bill Douglas did not respond to a request for comment on Silva’s claim.