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Anderson Silva releases statement after positive drug test, UFC Shanghai removal

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Anderson Silva has broken his silence after testing positive in a USADA drug test.

MMA: UFC 208 Silva vs Brunson Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Anderson Silva has publicly commented — albeit indirectly — on his recent positive drug test.

The former longtime UFC middleweight champion released a statement on Twitter Tuesday. Silva was flagged last week by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for a potential doping violation, his second test failure in the UFC.

Due to the positive drug test, Silva was removed from the UFC Fight Night 122 main event in which he was scheduled to face rising middleweight Kelvin Gastelum. Michael Bisping, who lost the 185-pound title to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 two weeks ago, has since replaced him.

Silva’s statement can be read in full below:

Obviously, I think everything is part of a process of evolution. With each passing day, I can learn more about who I am. I’m here to thank all my fans, especially all my coaches and all the contributors for this long journey. I can’t express my feelings and how sad I am. Because we all invest love, passion and time in this camp, I don’t know exactly the plans of God for me. But anyway, I can only thank him and all of you for the love and affection. Nothing is more gratifying at this moment than having you by my side. I will not give up, much less stop doing what I love. Not because of fame or money; it’s because I love to fight. So no matter what happens from now on, nothing changes. My plans are the same. Nothing has changed. A big kiss for everyone and see you soon.

Silva could be facing a longer suspension from USADA due to now being a repeat offender (should he be sanctioned). He tested positive for two steroids in a UFC 183 in-competition drug test. He beat Nick Diaz by decision at the event, but the win was later overturned to a no-contest by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, who suspended “The Spider” one year.

USADA and the UFC have not yet disclosed the substance Silva tested positive for, per program policy. The drug test was administered by USADA on Oct. 26.

UFC Fight Night 122 takes place in Shanghai, China on Nov. 25. The event marks the promotion’s first trip to mainland China and will stream live on UFC Fight Pass.