The Problems With Anderson Silva’s “Viagra Defence ” Under Anti-Doping Standards

Posted: August 12, 2015 in Doping

The ‘tainted supplement‘ defense is about as boilerplate as it gets when it comes to doping allegations in combat sports.  This week Anderson Silva is scheduled to appear before the Nevada State Athletic Commission to answer to positive findings for drostanolone metabolites, a banned anabolic agent, which were detected in an out-of-competition test and then again in an in-competition test earlier this year.

The Brazilian website Combate obtained a copy of Silva’s submissions to the NSAC. These can be found here – Anderson Silva NSAC Submissions

In short the former middleweight UFC Champion is going to acknowledge that he ingested drostanolone.  He denies, however, that he did so intentionally and will blame the positive findings on tainted medication.  Silva’s twist on tainted supplement defense is that he ingested “a supplement for the purpose of enhancing sexual performance ” and that this substance “was contaminated with an Exogenous Anabolic Agent: Drostanolone metabolite“.

Interestingly the submissions do not make mention of exatcly what supplement was taken nor do they provide the labwork confirming the allegation that the supplement was ‘contaminated’.

The problem with this defence is that, even if accepted, the prohibition on PED’s is absolute and athletes are responsible for what they put into their bodies.   Anti Doping violations are a strict liability matter under the Nevada regulatory scheme.  In other words, you are liable for the failure even if you really did take a tainted supplement.

It will be interesting to see how severe Silva’s punishment will be given that Nevada’s tougher stance on doping penalties are not in force just yet and they have been recenlty reminded by the Nevada Judiciary that the punishments they dole out cannot be ‘arbitrary and capricious’.

What is known is if the ‘viagra defense’ was made under the UFC’s new Anti-Doping Policy the defense would not be viable and Silva would be facing a two year ban as evidenced by past USADA arbitration decisions.

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Comments
  1. […] for what they put into their bodies,” Canadian attorney Erik Magraken wrote on his blog, Combat Sports Law. “Anti Doping violations are a strict liability matter under the Nevada […]

  2. […] The Problems With Anderson Silva’s “Viagra Defence ” Under Anti-Doping Standa… […]

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