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Update: ‘Bigfoot’ Silva Will Sue the Doctor Who Gave Him the TRT Exemption

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Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva shocked the MMA community, and arguably tarnished the memory of a classic fight in the making, when he tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone following his recent draw with Mark Hunt.

Soon after the news broke, “Bigfoot” cast blame on Dr. Marcio Tannure, who is the medical director of Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA).

According to Bigfoot, he received a TRT exemption through Dr. Tanmure, and was simply following the instructions he was given.

“I just did what they told me to do,” Silva told MMAFighting.com. “I’d never do something different that what the doctor told me to. I looked for a doctor with a good reputation, and he’s the UFC’s doctor in Brazil. I knew I’d be tested before and after the fight. Unfortunately, now I have to find the legal ways to overturn this situation or at least prove I’m not guilty.”

“I took a shot at the same day he sent me that e-mail, and he asked me if I had another one to take with me to Australia, to take on fight week,” he said. “He authorized everything. I did exactly as I was informed to do.

That’s obviously a very different story from what Dr. Tanmure has been saying, but Bigfoot is sticking behind his version. In fact, he says he’s planning on suing the doctor.

“You go get help with a doctor, you do the right thing, and now this story tarnishes my professional career,” he said. “It tarnishes the great fight I did with Mark Hunt, and gave me a huge financial loss. The doctor knows that I cut weight, he knows how the body of a MMA fighter reacts. He should know at what level I would be with one shot. I felt like a lab rat. I did everything I was told to do and now I’m the cheater.”

Before his lawsuit though, Silva will redo all of his pre-fight routines with a US doctor to show that he was misled.

“I’ll take the exact dosage I took, the exact timetable, and will get a doctor here in the U.S. and a doctor in Brazil to show to the fans that this is horrible for my career and the sport,” he said. “I want to prove that it was not my fault. When I have all the exams from both doctors, I want to sue (Dr. Tannure) for the moral and financial prejudice that he has caused me.”

Even so, Bigfoot still isn’t sure how this will affect his MMA career. While he’s hopeful that this will clear things up, he admits that it’s still up to the UFC.

“It’s up to the UFC, I don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said. “If they allow me to, I want to continue, but now with a doctor that won’t give me any problems. I want to continue the treatment because it’s good for my personal life and my career as well. If you know what acromegaly is, you know what I have. My hormonal levels are not normal, my testosterone is too low, and I want to be on normal levels.

“I thought about a thousand things since this all happened,” he concluded. “I considered leaving the sport because of these unfair things, but I don’t give up that easily. I have to show that it was not my fault.”