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Wanderlei Silva's lawyer: 'It is abundantly clear [NAC] lacks jurisdiction' to discipline Silva

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Wanderlei Silva filed for a motion to dismiss his Thursday disciplinary hearing in front of the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) on grounds that the commission lacked jurisdiction to discipline him for the random drug test he deliberately missed on May 24th in Las Vegas.

"It is abundantly clear that the NSAC lacks jurisdiction to take disciplinary action over Mr. Silva, a non-licensee, for not submitting to testing that the NSAC had no authority to order," Silva's lawyer, Ross Goodman, wrote in a motion addressed to Nevada Deputy Attorney General Christopher Eccles on August 15th and obtained by MMAFighting.com.

Silva fled from an independent representative who attempted to collect a random blood and urine sample from the fighter at his gym on May 24th ahead of his scheduled bout against Chael Sonnen at UFC 175, then repeatedly ignored subsequent requests to regain contact and collect the sample. Silva later explained to the commission that he fled the test because he was concerned it would show the presence of diuretics in his system, a banned substance Silva claims to have been taking solely to minimize the inflammation in his fractured right wrist.

Diuretics are classified as a banned substance largely due to their prevalence as a masking agent to prevent detection of other illegal substances in an athlete's system.

Goodman argued that the NAC lacked jurisdiction to "proceed with any type of disciplinary action against Mr. Silva because he was not licensed" at the time of the random test, and that "only someone licensed before the NSAC can be found to have violated NAC 467.850 (1), (2) and (5)," which states that "a licensee who violates any provision of this section is subject to disciplinary action by the Commission."

Per Goodman, "The NSAC tacitly recognizes their lack of jurisdiction to discipline Mr. Silva by removing any reference to licensee under the Jurisdiction section of the Complaint 1-4. A review of other Complaints for Disciplinary Action consistently relies on the unarmed combatants' status as a ‘licensee' as the jurisdictional basis for the NSAC's authority to seek discipline. Here, the NSAC cannot cure this jurisdictional defect by eliminating the phrase ‘licensee' and simply refer to Mr. Silva as an ‘unarmed combatant.

"Mr. Silva is not an unarmed combatant because he did not compete in UFC 175. ... The NSAC has never been vested with the authority to direct or order non-licensed persons to submit to a chemical test. Consequently, the NSAC lacks jurisdiction to seek disciplinary action against Mr. Silva, and any attempt to do so, clearly exceeds the NSAC's limited statutory jurisdiction."

Silva did not attend Thursday's NAC meeting in Las Vegas.

In light of Silva's absence and the motion filed by Goodman, commission officials elected to table Silva's dispute and disciplinary hearing for future consideration.