UFC star Anderson Silva resolves USADA case, feels 'vindicated'

Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will be eligible to return to competition later this year, after resolving his case with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) on Wednesday.

Silva, 43, has been sidelined since last November because of a failed drug test. USADA officials have announced he tested positive for metabolites of methyltestosterone and hydrochlorothiazide on Oct. 26, 2017, but have determined the cause of the failed test was a contaminated legal dietary supplement.

The one-year suspension is dated retroactively to Nov. 10, 2017. Silva intends to continue his career once eligible.

"This is great news -- I am vindicated," Silva said in a statement to ESPN's Ariel Helwani. "The past nine months have been extremely difficult. I felt like my career and everything I had worked so hard for was dying and my future was hanging in the balance.

"I knew in my heart that I had done nothing wrong and fully cooperated with USADA during their inquiry to prove it."

Silva (34-8) is one of several Brazilians athletes to recently fall victim to contaminated supplements. In April, USADA determined Junior dos Santos, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Marcos Rogerio de Lima each failed drug tests in 2017 due to contaminated compound supplements from a Brazilian pharmacy.

In Silva's case, it is the second one-year suspension of his career. The Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended the all-time great in 2015, after he failed several drug tests around a middleweight contest against Nick Diaz. Silva has claimed those failed tests were the result of a contaminated sexual-enhancement pill.

Silva, who hasn't fought since February 2017, said he was content with the resolution of this USADA case.

"USADA has policies and procedures and I respect their decision," Silva said. "I am just thrilled to have my name cleared and credibility restored.

"Today I have a renewed energy. My legacy is restored. I can focus on getting back into the ring and the next chapter of my life after fighting. I want to thank my family and fans for all of their love and unwavering support. I am excited for where future will take me and look forward to sharing the journey with all of them."

Silva is 1-4 in his past five contests. He was long considered the greatest fighter of all time, successfully defending his 185-pound title 10 times between 2006 and 2013. Prior to his failed drug test, he was scheduled to face Kelvin Gastelum at a UFC Fight Night in China.

His legacy has been impacted by the multiple failed drug tests, although he has adamantly denied any intentional doping.