Nevada Attorney General Urges Athletic Commission to Pursue Wanderlei Silva Discipline

August 30, 2014

Wanderlei Silva

Wanderlei Silva, who has been going back and forth with the Nevada Athletic Commission over his admitted fleeing from a random drug test, is trying to have any disciplinary hearing about his situation nixed. His attorney went so far as to file a Motion to Dismiss any disciplinary hearing involving his client.

The Nevada Attorney General, acting on behalf of NAC Executive Director Bob Bennett, has issued written opposition against the Motion to Dismiss, urging the commission to deny the motion.

Silva was recently slated to go before the NAC on Aug. 21 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, citing a lack of jurisdiction.

Considering the last-minute nature of the motion, the commission felt it did not have enough time to accept or deny the motion, so it tabled the measure for future action.

SEE ALSO: Wanderlei Silva Files Motion to Dismiss

The whole case stems from Silva agreeing to fight Chael Sonnen at UFC 175 on July 5 and appearing 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.

He and his attorney, however, now say that, despite having a bout scheduled, the commission had no authority to request Silva to submit to a random drug test because Silva had not yet been licensed for the bout by Nevada. Deputy Attorney General Christopher Eccles counters that, despite Silva not yet being a licensee at the time the test was requested, the NAC still had jurisdiction.

In the AG’s Aug. 25 letter to the commission, Eccles noted Silva as saying that the fight with Sonnen was “the fight he wanted the most in his entire life” and that he “would be there on July 5 to put on a great show for all of you my friends,” which showed that he had every intent to compete in the bout as an unarmed combatant, which Eccles argues that the commission does have jurisdiction over.

Citing NRS 467.070 and NRS 467.110 (1)(e), Eccles noted, “The Commission is vested with exclusive control and jurisdiction over all contests of unarmed combat in Nevada. The Commission has jurisdiction to discipline an unarmed combatant or other participant who is guilty of conduct that is detrimental to a contest of unarmed combat.”

He specifically pointed out that the wording does not solely say “licensees,” but references “unarmed combatants.”

As such, the commission, as Eccles argues, should be allowed to discipline Silva for his transgression, which he openly admitted.

“Silva admits that he ran from the Commission because he was using a prohibited drug,” wrote Eccles. “The statutory and regulatory scheme, as well as the spirit of Chapters 467, is clearly established to give the Commission authority to discipline cheaters.”

As such, the Nevada Attorney General’s Office requested that the NAC deny Silva’s motion and proceed with the disciplinary hearing.

NAC chairman Francisco Aguilar told on Thursday that Silva’s Motion to Dismiss would be addressed at the commission’s Sept. 23 meeting in Las Vegas. If the commission rules in favor of the attorney general’s argument to deny the motion, a disciplinary hearing addressing Silva would also take place at that meeting.

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