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Roy Jones Jr. sympathizes with Anderson Silva if he used PEDs to help heal broken leg

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Roy Jones Jr. hasn't spoken to Anderson Silva since the news broke that Silva failed two drug tests. He doesn't know for sure if Silva took performance-enhancing drugs.

But if "The Spider" did use like the tests said, Jones Jr. kind of understands -- especially considering the gruesome broken leg Silva was attempting to overcome.

"People don't understand that when you have injuries like that, it's a very difficult thing to come back from," Jones Jr. told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "I know that's what forced him probably to try to do things to try and help the leg. When you break a leg the way he broke it, I can't see a person that wouldn't try the same thing. "

Silva, 39, tested positive for anabolic steroid metabolites in an out-of-competition test Jan. 9 before his UFC 183 main event against Nick Diaz on Jan. 31. He also popped for drostanolone, the same steroid, in a post-fight test. The results of each did not come back until after the fight, so Silva was allowed to compete.

Currently, the former UFC middleweight champion is temporarily suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) and awaiting a disciplinary hearing in either March or April. Silva is facing a suspension and hefty fine from the NAC. The Diaz fight was his first after breaking his leg against Chris Weidman in December 2013.

"I feel for him in that instance, because I know what he's going through in a sense, because I've heard people say that those things help you heal quicker," Jones Jr. said. "So of course he wants to get healed so he can fight. However, you can't do it that close to a fight because it would be illegal."

SB Nation medical expert Dr. Ali Mohamadi told that steroids would not speed bone healing, but "it's possible the increased muscle mass could make rehab easier than it otherwise would be."

Jones Jr. and Silva have been linked for years. Silva has expressed on multiple occasions his desire to face Jones Jr., an idol and friend, in a boxing match. UFC president Dana White said the bout would likely not go down while Silva was under contract with the UFC. Silva signed a 15-fight extension with the promotion recently.

"If he chose 15 more fights with UFC, you just gave them the right to tell you what you can do or can't do," Jones Jr. said.

Jones Jr., 46, has moved on from that bout and said there is an 85-90 percent chance that he'll have a boxing match with former UFC fighter Chris Lytle sometime this year. Jones meets Willie Williams on March 16 in North Carolina and hopes to earn a cruiserweight title fight with a victory. After winning the belt, Jones Jr. said he would target Lytle.

"I think it would be a great thing," Jones Jr. said. "If Anderson couldn't, Chris Lytle can."

The boxing legend isn't sure if Silva's positive test will tarnish his legacy as the greatest UFC champion of all time. Silva owns the UFC record for most consecutive wins (16) and title defenses (10).

If it happens more than once then you can look at it and say, 'OK it's possible,'" Jones Jr. said. "But when it only happened once, then I don't know. It's kind of hard to say [one time means] he did it his whole career. It's hard to say that."

Jones Jr., a former five-division boxing champion, was disappointed with Silva's performance against Diaz, saying he "wasn't the finisher" that he wanted him to be.

"He should have had enough weight advantage to finish Nick and he didn't," Jones Jr. said.

More than anything, though, Jones Jr. just hopes his old friend is doing well despite the controversy.

Truthfully speaking," he said, "Anderson is a really good person."

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