LAS VEGAS — UFC light heavyweight Thiago Silva went before the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) Thursday in Las Vegas for a hearing regarding a failed urinalysis associated with his Jan. 1 bout with Brandon Vera at UFC 125.

Silva admitted he altered his urine sample to hide the fact he twice took a prescription steroid via epidural for a back injury. He said the first dose was taken 45 days before the bout with Vera, and the second was taken 30 days before the bout.

Ultimately Silva was fined $33,750 and suspended for one year from the date of the fight, which means he will be out of action the rest of 2011. Also, the original result of his fight with Vera was overturned from a unanimous decision in favor of Silva to a no contest. first reported the results of the hearing this afternoon. has since confirmed the suspension and fine amount with NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer. Kizer also confirmed that Silva will have to wait until at least Jan. 2, 2012 to reapply for a license to fight in Nevada.

Silva offered an apology and explanation at the hearing:

“I just want to apologize for what I did. I did what I did because my back was very, very bad a couple months (before the fight). I had not fought for one year. I was completely broke. I have a family. People depend on my money. I was desperate to do something. … I know what I did is wrong. Like I said, I’m so sorry. I had my reasons. People depend on my money, and I had to give them support.”

Silva holds a professional MMA record of 14-2, 1 NC and is ranked among the top-10 light heavyweights in the world. With no wins in 2010 and only one in 2009, a whole year of inactivity will likely cause him to lose his spot on most of the major ranking systems.

At only 28-years-old, the Brazilian still has plenty of time though to regain his status and get back in the title hunt. His biggest challenge now will likely be staying focused on training and improving his game with so much free time on his hands.

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