"Dear Family, Friends, Fans and Public, I did not use the steroid Boldenone, or any other steroid of prohibited substance," Silva said through his co-manager Alex Davis. "I don't agree and never have agreed with the use of this kind of product in order to win, for this is cheating. I will go to the full extent of my power and the law to prove my innocence in this matter."
The California Commission announced Thursday that Silva has been suspended for one year and fined $2,500 for testing positive for the anabolic steroid Boldenone.
Until the final judgement is rendered, it appears the EliteXC heavyweight title will be in limbo. EliteXC plans to approach the situation the same way the UFC handled Sean Sherk's positive steroid test, which was to stand behind the fighter until the appeals process is over.
EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw told MMAFighting.com, "At this time we are not going to do anything. We will wait for the Silva camp to have their day in front of the California Athletic Commission. Our fighter says he's innocent and we will not make any decisions until the commission renders theirs."
EliteXC's Jeremy Lappen, Head of Fight Operations, released an official statement late Thursday night:
"We respect the California commission and the job they do. We always enjoy working with them and work very well together. The illegal use of steroids is a problem in all major sports, including mixed martial arts. We certainly do not condone the use of steroids.
"But we also support, trust and have confidence in our fighter, Antonio Silva, who has denied ever taken any illegal substance, including steroids, and is prepared to challenge the results of the California Commission. So until all the facts are known and a final decision is rendered, EliteXC will reserve making any further comments at this time."