Elite XC Heavyweight Champion Antonio Silva's appeal hearing will take place at the Ronald Reagan State Building in Los Angeles, Calif., on October 22, 2008, at 10:00 a.m. PT. The champ tested positive for the anabolic steroid Boldenone following his win over Justin Eilers to capture the first-ever (and this vacant) strap on July 19.
Since that time "Bigfoot," his management team and American Top Team (ATT) camp have claimed innocence. Here's a statement released from the Brazilian after the test results were revealed:
"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."
Silva's case is based around the fact that he suffers from the medical condition known as Acromegaly, which is more commonly referred to as "Gigantism."
Here's an explanation of the disease given on Wikipedia.com:
"Acromegaly is a syndrome that results when the pituitary gland produces excess growth hormone (HGH) after epiphyseal plate closure. A number of disorders may be affecting the pituitary to create this circumstance, although most commonly it involves a GH producing tumor derived from a distinct type of cells (somatotrophs) and called pituitary adenoma. Acromegaly most commonly affects adults in middle age and can result in severe disfigurement, serious complicating conditions and premature death if unchecked. Because of its insidious pathogenesis and slow progression, the disease is hard to diagnose in the early stages and is frequently missed for many years, when changes in external features, especially of the face, become noticeable."
Silva's manager Alex Davis maintains 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."
We'll find out on October 22 if his argument can stand up in a court of law. Traditionally, the California commission has been one of the toughest states on steroid use, but this sounds like medical proof that he at least would have an abnormal level in his system.
Whether that means he did or did not take anything extra on top of that is for the commission officials to decide.
Elite XC has stood by its champ throughout this difficult time and he was even seen this weekend at "Heat" in Sunrise, Fla., carrying around his championship belt. For now, he remains the company's Heavyweight Champion until the CSAC hands down its final decision.
He faces a 12-month suspension and fine if the finding is upheld.