As an avid sports fan, seeing a high-profile athlete get popped for PEDs isnt’t exactly a surprise.

I grew up as a baseball fan during the height of the steroid era; seemingly all of the players I idolized as a child have been connected to PEDs in some form or fashion. But when I heard that Anderson Silva had failed multiple tests surrounding his UFC 183 bout against Nick Diaz ,I was shocked none the less.

For a fighter who so adamantly spoke out against the use of PEDs and then failed a test is simply astonishing. Then, after failing the test, he had the audacity to blame the results on a tainted sexual performance supplement. Coming off of a significant leg injury as a fighter nearing the end of his career you could almost excuse the positive PED tests…almost.

Perhaps he just used them to get back into the cage faster? That would be understandable and forgivable. All he had to do was be honest and admit that he made a mistake. Instead, Silva choose the route of denial and excuses. Ultimately, they way he handled the situation should leave a lasting impression on his legacy.

Regardless of how many times your PED tests have come back clean it only take one – just one – to taint an entire legacy. Just look at fallen hero Lance Armstrong. For year and years, Armstrong passed every drug test thrown his way; he was easily the most tested athlete in the history of the world. But then a United States Anti-Doping Agency investigation concluded that Armstrong used PEDs over the course of his career and all of his accomplishments and titles were stripped.

Another great example is Barry Bonds, arguably the greatest baseball player of all-time, will likely never grace the halls of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. because of his connection BALCO, a laboratory the supplied PEDs to pro athletes.

Both Armstrong and Bonds have become pariahs in the sporting world and rightfully so. But neither of them actually failed a formal test for PEDs; Silva on the other hand did.

Just let that simmer in your head for a second. Two of the most villainized PED figures in sports today – Bonds and Armstrong – never failed a test, but Silva failed multiple tests leading up to and following his last fight. Because of the absences of failed tests, you simply have to question the whole of their body of work.

Should Silva’s entire career now be questioned because of this single instance?

Knowing that PED use in the sport of MMA has long been an issue and that athletes are always ahead of the testing protocols, you have to at least question what Silva has been able to accomplish over the course of his career.

Without comprehensive random out-of-competition drug testing, there is no way to be certain who is using and who is clean because of the PED cycling process. If a fighter is smart and has the proper resources, they could easily plan their PED cycles and never be in danger of failing a commision sponsored test.

As much as I would like to look at this incident with Silva through rose colored glasses and believe that this was a one time deal, I simply can’t. Silva is easily one of the greatest fighters of all-time, but after initial failed test and all of the nonsense that has transpired since, you have to question everything he has accomplished. You have to wonder if he was ever truly a “clean” fighter. Because of that, he can never be seen as the greatest of all time.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.