SPORTS

UFC's Anderson Silva suspended for 1 year after testing positive for steroids

Anderson Silva punches at Nick Diaz in their middleweight bout during UFC 183 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on January 31, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

Anderson Silva punches at Nick Diaz in their middleweight bout during UFC 183 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on January 31, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)  (2015 Getty Images)

Brazilian MMA Anderson Silva was suspended for one year on Thursday after the UFC champion tested positive for steroids.

Nevada Athletic Commission Chairman Francisco Aguilar said the 40-year-old Silva was also stripped of his January win over Nick Diaz and fined $380,000. The commission imposed the stiffest penalty possible. 

The UFC announced that it will welcome Silva back to competition after his suspension ends early next year.

Silva's victory over Diaz was changed to a no contest. It had represented Silva's return to the cage at age 39 for the first time in 13 months after badly breaking his leg in a rematch with Chris Weidman, who took the UFC title from him in 2013.

Aguilar said Silva provided inconsistent testimony and records after testing positive for Drostanolone metabolites Jan. 9.

Silva's suspension is retroactive to his last fight on Jan. 31. When his suspension ends early next year, he must pass more doping tests to regain a license to fight.

The UFC backed the Nevada commission's decision. The world's dominant mixed martial arts promotion instituted a comprehensive drug testing policy earlier this year in partnership with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

"The UFC organization maintains a strict, consistent policy against the use of any illegal and/or performance-enhancing drugs, stimulants or masking agents by its athletes, and fully supports the Commission's ongoing efforts to ensure clean competition by all MMA athletes," the statement read. "The UFC recognizes Silva's great career and looks forward to his return to the Octagon in 2016."

Silva is considered one of the greatest mixed martial artists in the young sport's history. He won a record 10 consecutive title defenses over seven years as the UFC's 185-pound champion until losing the belt to Weidman in a stunning upset.

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