Anderson Silva’s reputation was badly damaged in 2015, when the former UFC middleweight champion was suspended for one year by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) after testing positive for steroids. But, after failing yet another drug test, Silva’s entire career may be in jeopardy and the former pound-for-pound great may very well have tarnished his image for good.
Silva, 42, has been provisionally suspended by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after failing an out-of-competition drug test administered on October 26. ‘The Spider’ has denied knowingly taking any performance-enhancing drugs and ensures fans that he is working ‘very closely’ with USADA to work out why he tested positive.
Fellow Brazilian and friend Jose Aldo, who has tested clean throughout his career and has always been supportive of Silva, believes his second failed drug test could dirty his career and ruin his image.
“I think many fans and MMA journalists today say that Anderson was the champion he was because he doped,” Aldo said at a recent media day in Brazil, per MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz. “That’s a problem, that dirties his career. I make sure I take precautions, I do exactly what has to be done. Before I start a camp, I e-mail WADA and USADA saying what I will take, and we start the camp when they say it’s ok. I think this is a precaution that every athlete should take because you’re subject to this.
“Like I said, he’s an idol for us, but fans have a different image of him after he got caught twice. If it was only one we could say something, but twice can convict him. I think it hurts him, dirties his career, which for me was one of the best.”
Silva was suspended for 12 months in 2015 but could face a much longer suspension this time round due to being a repeat offender. The former champ was slated to face Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Shanghai but was swiftly removed from the event after news got out of his failed drug test.
Aldo, meanwhile, is making final preparations for his featherweight championship rematch with Max Holloway at the upcoming UFC 218 pay-per-view. Aldo lost the first bout via TKO but will hope to recapture the belt and avenge his loss on Dec. 2 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan.