Bruno Silva Gets 2-Year USADA Sanction for Positive Boldenone Test

By: Tristen Critchfield
Jun 22, 2020

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Bruno Silva will have to wait a while before his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut.

The former M-1 Challenge champion received a two-year suspension from the United States Anti-Doping Agency after testing positive for boldenone and its metabolite in an out-of-competition sample collected on May 27, 2019. Silva was expected to make his Octagon debut against Deron Winn at UFC Fight Night 154 in June 2019 before the positive test.

During an evidentiary hearing, it was determined that the levels of the banned anabolic substance was inconsistent with boldenone meat contamination. According to the USADA statement, Silva “speculated about a number of possible explanations” regarding his failed drug test but failed to produce any evidence in his favor.

Silva’s suspension began on June 14, 2019, the date his provisional sanction was imposed. As a result, the soon to be 31-year-old Brazilian will not be eligible to compete until June 2021. “Blindado” owns a 19-6 professional record and is coming off a fourth-round TKO victory over Artem Frolov at M-1 Challenge 98 on Nov. 2, 2018.

The complete statement from USADA is as follows:

USADA announced today that an independent arbitrator has rendered a decision in the case of UFC® athlete Bruno Arruda da Silva, of Parana, Brazil, and determined that Arruda da Silva should receive a two-year period of ineligibility for his anti-doping policy violation. This decision comes after the facts of the case were presented and fully argued at an evidentiary hearing on May 27, 2020.

Arruda da Silva, 30, tested positive for boldenone and its metabolite, 5β-androst-1-en-17β-hydroxy-3-one, at a level inconsistent with boldenone meat contamination as the result of a urine sample collected out-of-competition on May 27, 2019. Confirmation of the positive test was achieved through additional analysis using the sensitive isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC/C/IRMS) method, which reported laboratory results consistent with the exogenous origin of boldenone. Boldenone is a non-Specified Substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy (ADP) and UFC Prohibited List.

Arruda da Silva did not declare the prior use of boldenone or any other prohibited substance on his onboarding declaration upon joining the UFC and argued that he did not know how the boldenone entered his system. During the hearing, Arruda da Silva did not produce any evidence regarding the source of his positive test, although he speculated about a number of possible explanations.

As a result of his failure to produce any evidence of source, including testing supplements that were all negative for boldenone, and USADA’s evidence that boldenone meat contamination was implausible in this circumstance, the arbitrator concluded that da Silva was ineligible for a reduction to the default two-year period of ineligibility.

Upon being added to the UFC Anti-Doping Program, athletes are required to complete a thorough onboarding process, which includes education and completion of an onboarding declaration form. Athletes must declare all substances and methods, including medications and supplements, they have used, attempted to use, or possessed in the previous 12 months. An athlete who declares a prohibited substance or method will not be deemed to have committed a violation but, depending on the substance or method, may be required to refrain from competition for a period of at least six months and provide at least two negative samples.

Arruda da Silva’s two-year period of ineligibility began on June 14, 2019, the date his provisional suspension was imposed.
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