Anderson Silva (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

USADA Rules Anderson Silva Took Tainted Supplements, Hands Down One-Year Suspension

One of the UFC’s most dominant champions could be headed back inside the Octagon before the end of 2018.

Anderson “The Spider” Silva has been “vindicated” as his situation with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has come to a close. The 43-year old Brazilian has been inactive since November 2017, having been pulled from his UFC Shanghai main event slot opposite Kelvin Gastelum due to a failed drug test.

The former middleweight champion tested positive for metabolites of methyltestosterone and hydrochlorothiazide on Oct. 26, 2017, according to ESPN. The banned substances were found in a legal dietary supplement but the supplement did not list the substances as ingredients.


Silva denied any wrongdoing but was still suspended by USADA for one year. However, the suspension is retroactive to Nov. 10, 2017, when his initial failure was announced. His fighting career can resume this October.

“I am vindicated,” Silva said in a statement to media first released to ESPN.

“The past nine months have been extremely difficult. I felt like my career and everything I had worked so hard for was dying and my future was hanging in the balance. I knew in my heart that I had done nothing wrong and fully cooperated with USADA during their inquiry to prove it. Today I have a renewed energy. My legacy is restored. I can focus on getting back into the ring and the next chapter of my life after fighting.”

This is Silva’s second run-in with USADA.

He first failed a test positive for the anabolic steroids drostanolone and androstane in a June 9, 2015 drug screening prior to his UFC 183 bout against Nick Diaz. Silva won the fight by unanimous decision but the result was overturned to a no-contest. 

The presence of drostanolone was blamed on a tainted sexual supplement but an explanation for the presence of androstane couldn’t be provided by Silva’s defense team. The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) rejected the defense and handed down a retroactive one-year suspension. He was also fined his full win bonus and 30 percent of his show money, $380,000 in all.

Silva is 1-4 in his last five Octagon appearances dating back to UFC 162 in 2013. He most recently scored a unanimous decision victory over Derek Brunson at UFC 208 last February.