Bruno Silva will have to wait until at least 2021 before he can make his UFC debut.
On Monday, the United States Anti-Doping Agency announced that the Brazilian fighter would face a two-year suspension after he tested positive for “boldenone and its metabolite, 5β-androst-1-en-17β-hydroxy-3-one, at a level inconsistent with boldenone meat contamination as the result of a urine sample collected out-of-competition on May 27, 2019.”
Boldenone is an anabolic steroid and numerous fighters have tested positive for the drug in the past.
Silva was originally scheduled to compete last June in a middleweight fight against Deron Winn, but he was pulled from the bout due to the results of his drug test.
After his debut was scrapped, Silva’s manager Bernardo Serale told MMA Fighting that he was going to be suspended for two years but they were going do everything possible to prove his innocence. That eventually lead to an independent arbitrator ruling on the case and the two-year suspension was ultimately upheld.
According to USADA officials, a hearing was held on May 27 where the facts of the case were laid out and Silva had the opportunity to defend himself.
“Silva did not declare the prior use of boldenone or any other prohibited substance on his onboarding declaration upon joining the UFC and argued that he did not know how the boldenone entered his system,” USADA officials said in a statement. “During the hearing, [Silva] did not produce any evidence regarding the source of his positive test, although he speculated about a number of possible explanations.
“As a result of his failure to produce any evidence of source, including testing supplements that were all negative for boldenone, and USADA’s evidence that boldenone meat contamination was implausible in this circumstance, the arbitrator concluded that Silva was ineligible for a reduction to the default two-year period of ineligibility.”
Athletes who join the UFC roster are required to declare any substances they’ve used in the past 12 months but an admission wouldn’t result in a doping violation. Instead, the athletes may be required to refrain from competition for at least six months while returning two negative test samples.
This didn’t happen in Silva’s case so his two year suspension was upheld.
The date of his ineligibility began on June 14, 2019, which means he will not be allowed to return to competition until after June 14, 2021.