Antonio Silva steroidsOctober 22 will be a turning point in Antonio ‘Junior’ ’s mixed martial arts career. Will Silva continue to wear the EliteXC’s heavyweight championship belt?

October 22 is the date for the Brazilian fighter appeal hearing on his alleged steroid use. And if the initial decision by the California Athletic Commission is upheld, Silva would be served with a 12-month suspension. He would also have to pay the fine of $2,500.

Silva tested positive for the anabolic steroid boldenone on July 26 this year, after his victory over Justin Eilers. Silva denied any wrongdoing. Following the announcement of the test results, Silva issued this statement:

“Dear Family, Friends, Fans and Public, I did not use the steroid Boldenone, or any other steroid of prohibited substance. I don’t agree and never have agreed with the use of this kind of product in order to win, for this is cheating. I will go to the full extent of my power and the law to prove my innocence in this matter.”

Alex Davis, Silva’s manager, maintains his fighter did not take the steroid.

“It’s a false positive. He got tested positive for something he didn’t take,” said Davis in August, shortly after the release of the test results. “I will not let my fighter sit back and be wronged like this. I just won’t.”

Silva’s camp is contesting the test results insisting that Silva could not have taken the banned compound because he is suffering from acromegaly, a hormonal disorder in which the pituitary gland produces excessive amount of growth hormone. One of the most common symptoms of acromegaly is enlargement of extremities such as the hands and feet.

Davis stresses that, “It would be completely insensible or even dangerous to make use of any other steroids or substances that could worsen that kind of problem.”

Silva’s camp hired Howard Jacobs, an attorney who is no stranger to such cases. Jacobs has represented Sean Sherk, another notable MMA fighter who tested for the steroid nandrolone. Jacobs was able to cut in half Sherk’s one year suspension to only six months.

The appeal hearing will take place at the Ronald Reagan State Building in Los Angeles, Calif., at 10:00 a.m. PT.