News broke Tuesday evening that following an incredible performance at UFC Fight Night 33, Heavyweight Antonio Silva failed his post fight drug test due to elevated testosterone. He had been granted an exemption for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) heading into the fight, but a last minute change in dosage advised by his doctor pushed him over the allowable limit.
'Bigfoot' released a statement following the the news on his Facebook page. According to Silva, Dr. Marcio Tannure who prescribed the treatment for him, advised him to increase his dose only two weeks before his fight against Mark Hunt on December 7. Dr. Tannure is the medical director of the CABMMA, the athletic commission that regulates MMA in Brazil. Because of his relationship with the commission, Silva refers to him as the 'UFC doc' although he's not directly connected with the promotion.
In the wake of the test failure, Silva declared his intention to seek legal action against Dr. Tannure. He explained his decision to MMA Fighting:
"I took a shot at the same day he sent me that e-mail, and he asked me if I had another one to take with me to Australia, to take on fight week," he said. "He authorized everything. I did exactly as I was informed to do.
"You go get help with a doctor, you do the right thing, and now this story tarnishes my professional career," he continued. "It tarnishes the great fight I did with Mark Hunt, and gave me a huge financial loss. The doctor knows that I cut weight, he knows how the body of a MMA fighter reacts. He should know at what level I would be with one shot. I felt like a lab rat. I did everything I was told to do and now I’m the cheater."
In an effort to prove his innocence, Bigfoot intends to undergo his pre-fight treatment schedule once again. This time around he'll do it under the supervision a different Brazilian doctor as well as a US based doctor.
I want to prove that it was not my fault. When I have all the exams from both doctors, I want to sue (Dr. Tannure) for the moral and financial prejudice that he has caused me.
Silva is currently serving a 9 month suspension for the failed test. Additionally, the $50K Fight of the Night bonus he earned has been given to Mark Hunt. His result for the fight was overturned to a no contest.
While he's on the bench due to the suspension and pursuing legal action, Silva will undergo should surgery. For now, Bigfoot is unsure if he'll continue using TRT in the future. He plans to consult with the UFC and to make sure he has a doctor "that won't give him any problems."