Anderson Silva abandons Rio 2016 race
When the Brazilian Taekwondo team represents its home country in Rio de Janeiro next August during the 2016 Summer Olympics, they will be doing so without the help of former UFC middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva.
Silva is temporarily suspended by the state of Nevada for a pair of failed drug tests, both before and after his fight with Nick Diaz in January. However, despite any controversies, he made it clear that he intended on trying out for a spot on the Taekwondo national team, which he described as a “dream opportunity.”
The pursuit of the Olympics was something so desired by Silva that he admittedly welcomed any embarrassment that might come along the way.
Now, according to his manager, Jorge Guimaraes, that dream is dead.
“This issue of the Olympics has already been ruled out,” Guimares told Brazilian outlet Portal do Vale Tudo. “Anderson will not participate in the Olympics.”
Silva will face the Nevada Athletic Commission for his official disciplinary hearing on August 7th. The meeting will determine how long he will remain inactive and what specifically his punishment will be for his failed tests. And that will take precedent over any Olympic plans.
“He is now waiting for the verdict of the athletic commission, which should be coming out soon,” Guimaraes said. “We are waiting, let’s see if there will be punishment and how long it will be. He has trained; Anderson is a guy who will not stop training. He is keeping active.”
Perhaps this news is for the better. Not only for Silva, but for his fans, as well.
Any proposed Olympic run was going to cost Silva an immense amount of time and effort. And at 40 years old, time is something of which Silva is seemingly running out.
Add to the fact that taekwondo is an entirely different sport — one that the former UFC middleweight champion admittedly hasn’t actively participated in since age 17 — the thought of Silva making the team really didn’t seem that likely.
One Brazilian squad member, heavyweight Guilherme Cezario Felix, went as far as to call Silva’s proposed attempts a “joke” and admitted that he was “fed up” with all the Silva talk in a Facebook post back in April.
It is not to say that Silva couldn’t have shocked his critics and made the team. But MMA is where “The Spider” made his name, and recently, his name has been tarnished with the news of his failed drug tests for two different performance-enhancing drugs.
Once one of the most revered and respected athletes in the sport, Silva can now put his Olympic dream behind him and focus on the current nightmare that lies ahead, as he attempts to restore his reputation in the sport he reigned over for more than half a decade.