Lifetime Ban On Wanderlei Silva Reversed

The now-retired mixed martial artist Wanderlei Silva has escaped a lifetime ban and a fine of $70,000 imposed on him for fleeing from a random drug test last year.

The ruling comes four days after the Nevada State Athletic Commission amended many of its guidelines, including a four-year suspension and a fine of 50 percent of the athlete’s purse for avoiding a test.

In May 2014, Silva ran from a drug test the Nevada State Athletic Commission tried to administer at the Las Vegas gym of the fighter. The 38-year-old later admitted that he had taken diuretics. For the infraction, the NSAC banned Silva for life and the MMA fighter later announced his retirement from Mixed Martial Arts.

In January, Wanderlei Silva appealed ruling of the NSAC and contended that the Commission lacked jurisdiction to even test him as he did not have the license of an active fighter in Nevada. However, it was argued by NSAC that the fighter was scheduled to fight Chael Sonnen at UFC 175 on July 5, 2014 that clearly revealed his intent to fight within the state. On this particular issue, Judge Earley ruled in favor of the NSAC and stated that the commission had properly exercised jurisdiction over Wanderlei Silva.

Judge Kerry L. Earley ruled in favor of an assertion made by the former MMA fighter that the punishment that was voted in September on unanimously by the Nevada State Athletic Commission was “arbitrary, capricious and not supported by substantial evidence.” A rehearing, as part of the court’s ruling, has been ordered for allocating proper punishment for the violation of Wanderlei Silva.

Silva’s attorney Ross Goodman applauded ruling of the judge in a statement. Goodman stated we are pleased that the court set aside the disciplinary actions ordered against Silva and reversed its decision and remanded for a re-hearing after finding that the NSAC violated Silva’s rights. The attorney added while we believe this is the first step in the right direction and we are evaluating our options to appeal this order given the court’s failure to specifically address whether the NSAC also violated jurisdiction limits.

The former PRIDE Middleweight Champion was also crowned the 2003 PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix Tournament Champion. Silva (35-12-1), the former Pride middleweight champion, celebrated the decision and thanked all of his supporters. Nicknamed “The Axe Murderer“, Silva history was made today for all MMA fighters and added that we succeeded at reversing a very unjust sentence given by this Commission. Silva also commented that he hopes that this never happens to another athlete and also said it was not right for the Commission to do that.

The Brazilian former mixed martial artist is best known for holding the record for the most wins, title defenses, knockouts, and longest winning streak in PRIDE history. Silva made his official UFC debut at UFC Brazil: Ultimate Brazil on October 16, 1998 in a match against Vitor Belfort where he lasted only 44 seconds after he was knocked down against the cage by Belfort’s punches.

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