‘Bigfoot’ Silva plans to sue doctor following positive test: ‘I felt like a lab rat’

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Antonio Silva tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone following his five-round war with Mark Hunt at UFC Fight Night 33, but he feels he’s not at fault.

One day after UFC announced that Silva will be suspended for nine months and will have to forfeit his Fight of the Night bonus, the Brazilian spoke to MMAFighting.com about the case. "Bigfoot" believes he’s not guilty, and he plans to sue Dr. Marcio Tannure for his post-fight drug test result.

Silva received a testosterone replacement therapy therapeutic use exemption for his fight in Australia, and Dr. Tannure, who is also the medical director of Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA) and runs all the medical situations during UFC events in the country, including drug tests, was the one responsible for his pre-fight exams.

"I just did what they told me to do," Silva told MMAFighting.com. "I’d never do something different that what the doctor told me to. I looked for a doctor with a good reputation, and he’s the UFC’s doctor in Brazil. I knew I’d be tested before and after the fight. Unfortunately, now I have to find the legal ways to overturn this situation or at least prove I’m not guilty."

According to a post on Silva’s official Facebook page, Dr. Tannure sent him an e-mail on Nov. 30 saying that his "levels are still low" and he should "start taking one shot per week" to see how it would be "on the next test." However, Silva's fight was a week after that day.

"I took a shot at the same day he sent me that e-mail, and he asked me if I had another one to take with me to Australia, to take on fight week," he said. "He authorized everything. I did exactly as I was informed to do.

"You go get help with a doctor, you do the right thing, and now this story tarnishes my professional career," he continued. "It tarnishes the great fight I did with Mark Hunt, and gave me a huge financial loss. The doctor knows that I cut weight, he knows how the body of a MMA fighter reacts. He should know at what level I would be with one shot. I felt like a lab rat. I did everything I was told to do and now I’m the cheater."

Multiple attempts were made to reach Dr. Tannure to get his comments, but they were unsuccessful.

Silva plans to sue Dr. Tannure, but first he will redo all his pre-fight routines to show how his exams should have looked like.

"I’ll take the exact dosage I took, the exact timetable, and will get a doctor here in the U.S. and a doctor in Brazil to show to the fans that this is horrible for my career and the sport," he said. "I want to prove that it was not my fault. When I have all the exams from both doctors, I want to sue (Dr. Tannure) for the moral and financial prejudice that he has caused me."

Silva will have shoulder surgery and plans to start rehab "as soon as possible," but he doesn’t know yet if he’ll continue using TRT for his next UFC fights.

"It’s up to the UFC, I don’t know what’s going to happen," he said. "If they allow me to, I want to continue, but now with a doctor that won’t give me any problems. I want to continue the treatment because it’s good for my personal life and my career as well. If you know what acromegaly is, you know what I have. My hormonal levels are not normal, my testosterone is too low, and I want to be on normal levels.

"I thought about a thousand things since this all happened," he continued. "I considered leaving the sport because of these unfair things, but I don’t give up that easily. I have to show that it was not my fault."

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