Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion Anderson Silva has never cheated or taken any substances to help give him an advantage in any of his 40 professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fights.
So then how do you explain his failed drug tests?
That's a question "The Spider" is hoping to answer in the next few weeks, as he looks to clear his name and reverse the damage done to his reputation before appearing before the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) to answer for his UFC 183 steroid scandal.
Silva issued a lengthy statement via Instagram:
IN RESPECT TO MY FANS I will not say anything about who I am or what I went through to get here. What matters to me now is the respect from those who have followed my career. I bled, struggled and fought because I love it and because I always wanted to honor the flag of the country I love so much. I don't know what to apologize for, because I am still waiting for the results and analysis from the specialists that are working to reveal the truth. Everything that I took since my injury are being analyzed. I look for the truth as much as all those who were surprised with the results. I always played clean, I was never a cheater. In eighteen years of my career, I never had a problem with exams. In and out of the Octagon I never slipped in compliance with the principles that always guided me. With much honor and dignity I defended my country where ever I fought. I never used any substances to better my performance in my fights. I love what I do and I would never risk what I took so long to build. I think that the hurry some people have to condemn me is unfair. The time it takes to destroy a reputation is infinitely less than that is taken to build it. I am the one who is most eager to settle this situation. I want those who have always supported me to know that I am still fighting for all the sad happenings of this situation to be cleared.
He has a tough hill to climb.
Not only did Silva test positive for steroids prior to stepping into the cage against Nick Diaz at UFC 183, the Brazilian also returned hot for anti-anxiety medication, and was temporarily suspended by NSAC pending "due process," something "The Spider" hopes will exonerate him.
Willing to give him the benefit of the doubt?