Lifetime ban for Silva? Not so fast says Judge
The Nevada State Athletic Commission issued a lifetime ban to Wanderlei Silva after (allegedly) refusing to take a random drug test prior to his fight against Chael Sonnen. The former Pride middleweight champion and mma legend Silva notched a critical victory today, this time in the court, as a judge reversed the lifetime ban, and called for a new disciplinary hearing.
Judge Kerry E. Earley ruled in favor of Silva that the punishment handed to Silva by the NSAC was not supported by enough evidence. With the court’s ruling, Silva will now have a rehearing for his violation.
In May 2014, Silva fled from his gym when a member of the NSAC came to administer a random drug test. Silva would then confess that he indeed take diuretics, which are banned by the NSAC. Following these course of actions the NSAC would hand Silva a lifetime ban.
Silva would not give up that easy, appealing the lifetime ban in January 2015, and would further contend that the NSAC lacked jurisdiction to even test him when they tried to. Silva did not have an active fighter’s license in Nevada at the time the NSAC attempted to test him. The NSAC has argued Silva was scheduled to face Chael Sonnen at UFC 175 on July 5, 2014, which meant Silva had intentions to fight in the State of Nevada.
The ruling comes four days after the NSAC amended many guidelines related to fines and suspension lengths for doping violations. The new guidelines are expected to go into effect around Sept. 1, and avoiding a test will result in a four-year suspension and a fine of 50 percent of the competitor’s purse. A possibility would be Silva’s punishment becoming a four-year suspension, going retroactive from the time Silva fled the test in May 2014, meaning he would not be allowed to fight until 2018.