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Rich Franklin: Positive tests could tarnish Anderson Silva’s legacy like Lance Armstrong

Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin empathizes with Anderson Silva following his positive drug tests for PEDs.

When Rich Franklin found out that his former rival Anderson Silva, the man who dethroned him and went on to reign over the middleweight division for well over a decade, tested positive for performance enhancing drugs, he was disheartened.

"I feel bad for him," Franklin told Submission Radio. "Honestly. Anderson's had this long run and then of course when something like this happens the fans are going to start asking 'well how long has he been on this stuff?' and for him to have such a run the way that he did and to come back from an injury the way that he did, it's just, it's a shame to think that that is going to tarnish his reputation. Like, that that's what he'll leave his career on."

The former UFC middleweight kingpin tested positive for Drostanolone and Androstane on February 3rd. A few weeks later, after vehemently denying any wrongdoing, Silva failed his post-fight test for oxazepam, medication for anxiety and depression, and temazepam, an insomnia medication, as well.

Apart from Silva's recent string of poor performances, the latest PED fiasco will likely affect the legacy he has worked so hard to keep intact. While many fans have already expressed their disappointment towards Silva's actions, Franklin believes Silva has potentially tarnished his reputation beyond repair.

"Even if he doesn't leave now, that's the overriding factor that's going to be remembered. Much like Lance Armstrong. He won all those Tour De France's, but as soon as he tested positive for PED's, that's what people remember; is all that stuff and you tend to forget the accomplishments that the guy had, and so I feel bad for him in that sense. And then you start wondering things like 'well how long was he on that?' Like because there are guys in this sport, they know how to play the system, they know how to take their chemicals and beat the test somehow."

While he is disappointed with Silva's test results, he cannot help but empathize with the former champion, particularly given that this is the twilight of his storied career.

"My heart bleeds for the guy man. Because to think he came back from that injury - and I'm sure a lot of it had to do with helping himself recover from the injury and heal from that. Especially at that stage in life. He's not 25 anymore. And if that was the case, he was using that to help himself recover, here we are on the back end of this, and he got popped and so now that's his legacy left what it is. And like I said, I feel bad for him in that sense, but you know we're in a sport where we've taken a hard stance against these PEDs and it's becoming more and more prevalent. I guess perhaps the testing is getting more sophisticated that you see more and more of these guys getting caught with this stuff and it's a shame man, because even on my Twitter feed I can see a lot of the public backlash and disappointment in the fans from these athletes and all that kind of stuff."

Transcription taken from Submission Radio.

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