Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) Wanderlei Silva admitted that he eluded the random drug testing over fears that they might find traces of diuretics in his system.
Silva, who was represented by his lawyer in a meeting with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), claimed that he was taking diuretics along with anti-inflammatories as prescribed by a UFC doctor to help him recover from a fractured wrist.
"He was taking diuretics for the sole purpose of minimizing the inflammation, to decrease the water retention. He now realized that he should have submitted to the drug test,” Silva's lawyer, Ross Goodman, said in an MMA Fighting report.
Silva admitted being surprised after he was visited by an NSAC authorized collector who attempted to take blood and urine samples.
“It was the first time in his career where something like this [happened], out of competition, somebody showed up at his gym,” said Ross.
Diuretics are classified as banned substance as they were typically used to prevent detection of illegal substances in an athlete’s system. Such drugs cause a dilution of the urine, which results in lower levels of the banned substance being excreted from the body.
Ross said his client apologizes to the commission but also maintained that Silva never tested positive of drug use in his professional career.
"Wanderlei Silva has been fighting for 20 years, has over 50 professional fights, and has never failed a drug test," said the lawyer. “That doesn't negate or minimize what Mr. Silva did. He's here to apologize to the commission, and he was concerned that the diuretics would show up on his sample."
NSAC officials are expected to deliberate regarding the potential disciplinary action to be taken against the Brazilian fighter.
Silva was supposed to fight in UFC 175 on July 5 but was pulled from the bout after he refused to take a random drug test administered by the NSAC.
Ironically, his opponent Chael Sonnen was tested positive for anti-estrogen medications anastrozole and clomiphene. Sonnen later announced his retirement from MMA.