SAO PAULO >> The medical director of Brazil’s governing body for mixed martial arts said Wednesday that former UFC champion Anderson Silva denies using steroids.
Silva echoed that denial in a brief statement sent to several news organizations by his co-manager on Wednesday night.
The former middleweight champion tested positive for two steroids in an out-of-competition test Jan. 9, according to results revealed Tuesday. Silva beat Nick Diaz on Jan. 31 at UFC 183 in his return to the cage after breaking his lower left leg 13 months ago.
UFC President Dana White issued a statement of guarded support for Silva on Wednesday, noting the longtime champ had never previously tested positive for a banned substance. White said Silva will continue in his role as a coach on “The Ultimate Fighter Brazil,” the UFC’s Brazilian version of its long-running reality show.
“We want to ensure that Anderson gets his due process, and we will support him during this time,” White said.
White also expressed support for the Nevada Athletic Commission’s out-of-competition drug testing program, noting that the UFC has financed the tests at times over the past two years.
“Testing of this nature is important to help keep the sport clean,” White said.
In an interview with a Brazilian radio station, Marcio Tannure said Silva told him he is “disappointed” and “upset” with the news that he tested positive.
Tannure told Radio Band News that Silva believes there was “contamination” or a “mistake by the laboratory” that handled his test.
The laboratory that conducted the tests is doing further evaluation of Silva’s samples.
Silva faces a disciplinary hearing in Las Vegas on Feb. 17, when his license to fight is likely to be suspended. First-time offenders in doping cases usually face a nine-month suspension.