During a recent appearance on TSN’s “Off The Record” program in Canada, Anderson Silva’s biggest career rival — Chael Sonnen — addressed “The Spider’s” positive out-of-competition drug test leading up to his UFC 183 fight with Nick Diaz, where he alluded to the fact that Silva may have been on performance-enhancing drugs in the past as well.
Sonnen spoke about his own issues in the past, noting that there are several ways to tell if a fighter is on PEDs, one of which is the “visual test,” which he described as simply looking at a fighter’s physique before and during a given fight.
When asked by “O.T.R.” host Michael Landsberg is Silva, who was on illegal PEDs for the Diaz fight, looked any different at UFC 183 than he has in the past, Sonnen said, “I thought he looked the same as he always has, which lends to speculation of how long has something been going on. And I don’t know, and I’m really not trying to fuel that fire, but if you wanna talk about the visual test, he did look the same as he looked prior, and that means something.”
The former UFC title contender turned ESPN analyst also spoke about the subject of “random tests” in mixed-martial-arts.
“If you’re a drug-testing guy and you’re figuring out, ‘Hey, whose name am I gonna pull?’ …you know, you hear about these random tests, none of them are random,” said Sonnen. “There’s not some hat with a guy pulling out names. A random test begins with a rumor, or it begins with a guy in the testing commission looking at a guy and going, ‘Man, I think something fishy is going on here.'”
Sonnen continued, “I did not see any change in Anderson’s physique, and whether that’s good for him or bad, I’ll leave it to you guys to decide, but I thought he looked the same.”
When Landsberg brought up the possibility that Silva has been taking illegal performance-enhancing drugs his whole career in response to Sonnen’s opinion that “The Spider” physically looked the same in the past as he did in the UFC 183 fight where he tested positive for two illegal PEDs, Sonnen offered the following comments.
“I think that, again, we’re talking speculation here, but that’s gonna be a speculation that’s gonna come up. Look, when a guy does something wrong — and you know this too as a human being — we very rarely get caught on our first time. When we get caught, we say it was the one and only time, but the reality is, inside we’re going, ‘Finally my number came up and I got grabbed.’ I’m not saying he did it, I’m just saying that’s normal for human beings.”
The pride of West Linn, Oregon concluded by stating his belief that Silva had an obligation to address his health first, noting that his first and foremost priority should have been to take whatever is necessary to heal his injured leg, but that if he signed up to compete in professional sports, he must follow the rules.
“Look, I truly am on the side of Anderson Silva in the fact that he did have the right, and even the obligation — to his health first — to fix his leg. If science can help him do it, good for him and great for science. Thank you to the doctors that are out there and [if] they can help a guy repair his leg. [But] if he got in the ring too soon and he still had banned substances [in his system], he’s got problems.”
You can watch Sonnen’s full appearance on “Off The Record” via the YouTube player at the top of this page.