UFC light heavyweight Wanderlei Silva has admitted that he avoided a random drug test on May 24 as he was taking diuretics at the time.

Recently, the 37-year-old pulled from a light heavyweight bout against Chael Sonnen at UFC 175 when it was made clear that the Nevada State Athletic Commission would not grant a fighter’s license to Silva after he fled from a random drug test. The martial artist appeared before the Nevada State Athletic Commission at an “information gathering” and was represented by Las Vegas-based attorney Ross Goodman.

Chael Sonnen, who was scheduled to fight Silva, recently announced his retirement from UFC after testosterone replacement therapy was banned in all forms of combat sports. Sonnen remarked he did not use the therapy to enhance performance but it was medically advised. The UFC, which previously supported TRT, decided to honor the TRT ban and Sonnen announced his retirement.

 Goodman admitted on behalf of Wanderlei Silva that the martial artist had been taking diuretics at the time of the test. Diuretics are banned in combat sports and are used to quickly cut weight or mask the presence of performance enhancing drugs in the body.

The MMA fighter remarked he used diuretics in conjunction with anti-inflammatories for dealing with an injury to the wrist he had suffered in February. Goodman said Silva injured his wrist in February of this year and was scheduled to fight in May but X-rays confirmed he had fractured his right wrist and therefore the UFC moved the fight to July 5. Goodman added Silva regretfully started taking diuretics at that time for the sole purpose of reducing inflammation and water retention.

Before the admission of Silva, the independent sample collector provided a detailed account of what occurred before the refused test. Jim Guernsey, with an experience of 34 years in collecting drug-testing samples, said he attempted to reach the MMA fighter at his residence in Las Vegas at approximately 1 p.m. He decided to call Silva and his wife after there was no response at their residence. After this, Guernsey drove to the Las Vegas gym of Silva and found him and other members of the gym. Guernsey then told Silva that a random drug test had been requested by the NSAC and then Silva said he wanted to talk to his manager and left without giving the test. Details as described by Guernsey were confirmed by Silva during his admission.

The Las Vegas-based attorney added Silva was surprised and this was the first time in his career where something like this, somebody showing up at his gym and that does not negate or minimalize what Silva did and he is here to apologize to the commission. Goodman added Silva was concerned the diuretics would show up on his sample and there should not be inference or suggestion that Silva was trying to mask or hide any performance enhancing drugs or testosterone use.

The former Pride middleweight champion had never failed a drug test before this incident. Silva made his professional MMA debut in 1996.

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