02/04/2015 08:34 EST | Updated 04/06/2015 05:59 EDT

Former UFC champ Anderson Silva denies using steroids, will continue as TUF coach

TORONTO - Former middleweight champion Anderson Silva has denied doping and the UFC says he will continue in his role as coach on "The Ultimate Fighter Brazil" despite failing a drug test.

The 39-year-old Silva, one of mixed martial arts' icons, tested positive for two steroids in an out-of-competition random test prior to UFC 183 last Saturday.

"I've been competing in this sport for a very long time," Silva said in a statement Wednesday. "This is my 19th fight in the UFC. I have been thoroughly tested many times and have never had a positive drug test. I have not taken any performance-enhancing drugs. My stance on drugs is, and will always be, the same. I'm an advocate for a clean sport."

UFC president Dana White seemed to be straddling both sides of the fence in his statement Wednesday.

"Anderson Silva has been one of the greatest athletes this sport has ever seen," White said. "He has had a long and distinguished career in mixed martial arts. In his nine years with the UFC, Anderson has never tested positive for a banned substance.

"In light of this, we want to ensure that Anderson gets his due process and we will support him during this time. While this process plays out, Anderson will continue in his role as coach of 'The Ultimate Fighter Brazil.' Of course we will continue to monitor the actions of the Nevada State Athletic Commission."

Silva was tested out of competition on Jan. 9 but results of the test were not ready until after the fight.

"We fully support the commission's out-of-competition drug testing program, which we have financed when requested over the past two years," White said. "Testing of this nature is important to help keep the sport clean. The director at the laboratory in Salt Lake City has now explained the timing of Anderson's test results and why the commission and the UFC did not receive the results until Feb. 3, after the fight.

"Once all the results have been made public and the Nevada State Athletic Commission has rendered its decision, we will respect the process and move forward accordingly."

Coincidentally Nick Diaz, beaten by Silva at UFC 183, tested positive for marijuana in his fight night drug test.

In the meantime, Silva and rival coach Mauricio (Shogun) Rua will continue as rival coaches for taping of the UFC's reality TV show.

The fourth season of the Brazilian version of "The Ultimate Fighter" is slated to air in April.

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