Free Legal Advice for Anderson Silva – TUE’s Exist for a Reason

Posted: March 1, 2015 in Doping, Nevada Combat Sports Law

Drostanolone Image

Anderson Silva has tested positive twice for doping.  First for the steroid drostanolone during an out-of-competition test taken on January 9, 2015 and again at a post fight test taken on January 31.

Silva adamantly denied doping with the same vigor of OJ Simpson vowing to find the real killer, being quoted as follows:

I have not taken any performance enhancing drugs. My stance on drugs is and will always be the same. I’m an advocate for a clean sport…I’m consulting with my advisors right now to explore all of my options and intend to fight this allegation and clear my name. I will not make any further comments until my team advises me to do so.”

Now Silva has apparently decided to change course.  He will reportedly admit to taking drostanolone not to cheat, but rather to recover from injury.  MixedMartialArts.com quotes from a Brazilian publication which reports as follows:

Anderson will deny he tried to cheat to beat the American. However, he will admit he made use of the anabolic steroid drostanolone during recovery from the severe fracture suffered against Chris Weidman at the end of 2013.

The Brazilian will argue that the anabolic used as a remedy to recover the injured site. Besides the famous boost in athletic performance function, drostanolone can also be used to strengthen the muscles. At the beginning of recovery, fearing that he could never have a normal or even stay without walking, he used the anabolic with this second order.

The strategy of seeking sympathy by pinning the use of the steroid on his previous horrific leg fracture may have worked if that was Silva’s initial move.  This is why a staple of legal advice is “shut up”.  Out of Court statements rarely do any good other than to incriminate an individual.  Here we have an outright denial followed by a reported new strategy to apparently minimize fallout.  In other words, if this report is accurate, we have doping followed by lying.   Inconsistent statements can kill credibility and all this before Silva’s hearing even begins.

Leaving public relations aside, it is no excuse to have a legitimate medical reason for doping if you don’t seek clearance ahead of time with relevant Athletic Commissions, not after being caught.

The Nevada Athletic Commission defers to WADA standards in granting TUE’s.  These could be applied for steroids in limited circumstances.  If Silva’s doctors felt he needed steroids the only proper course of action would be to apply to the NAC and try to satisfy the following test –

1. “The Athlete would experience a significant impairment to health if 
the Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method were to be withheld in 
the course of treating an acute or chronic medical condition.” (Article 
4.1 a. of the International Standard for TUEs.)

2. “The Therapeutic Use of the Prohibited Substance or Prohibited 
Method would produce no additional enhancement of performance 
other than that which might be anticipated by a return to a state of 
normal health following the treatment of a legitimate medical 
condition. 

3. “There is no reasonable Therapeutic alternative to the Use of the 
otherwise Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method.” (Article 4.1 
c of the International Standard for TUEs.)

4. “The necessity for the Use of the otherwise Prohibited Substance or 
Prohibited Method cannot be a consequence, wholly or in part, of 
prior non-Therapeutic Use of any Substance from the Prohibited 
List.” (Article 4.1 d. of the International Standard for TUEs.)

Now, for perhaps the most important question, if a TUE was sought, should one have been granted?  I reached out to orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Benjamin who provided the below reply:

Dr Benjamin Tweets re Drostonolone

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