Franklin: ‘It’s sad, Anderson Silva’s going out like Lance Armstrong’

Rich Franklin

“Listen, to say that thought never crossed my mind would be a lie. And I don’t know. I don’t know if he was using it back when he fought me or not. Regardless, even if he did, I’m not sure it would have made a difference and I don’t want to blame a loss on that kind of stuff or anything, so I don’t want this conversation to turn into that kind of thing – like ‘well Rich Franklin is blaming PEDs on his loss to Anderson’ like that’s not the case.

“But you start questioning those kinds of things. Like somebody on my Twitter the other day, somebody tweeted (that) I’ve fought eight people that have been associated with TRT at some point and time in their career, and I’ve lost to several of them, and so you start thinking about those kinds of things. Like how much of a difference that makes and all that kind of stuff, and so yeah I mean that thought crossed my mind.

“I would probably lean more towards in the Anderson case that this was something that helped him recover from his injury and all that kind of stuff, and on the back end he ends up getting caught doing it. And that’s why I kind of took that stance like I feel bad for him, but I mean then again if he had been using it the whole time then it is what it is. But you have no way of proving that one way or the other. So It really doesn’t do me any good to, like what good is that going to do me? Even if all these fighters were using this the whole time. Like it doesn’t do me any good. They’re losses on my record one way or the other. It’s a loss is a loss.”

“I feel bad for him, honestly. Anderson’s had this long run and then of course when something like this happens the fans are going to start asking ‘well how long has he been on this stuff?’ and for him to have such a run the way that he did and to come back from an injury the way that he did, it’s just, it’s a shame to think that that is going to tarnish his reputation. Like, that’s what he’ll leave his career on. Even if he doesn’t leave now, that’s the overriding factor that’s going to be remembered.

“Much like Lance Armstrong. He won all those Tour De France’s, but as soon as he tested positive for PEDs, that’s what people remember; is all that stuff and you tend to forget the accomplishments that the guy had, and so I feel bad for him in that sense. And then you start wondering things like ‘well how long was he on that?’

“Like because there are guys in this sport, they know how to play the system, they know how to take their chemicals and beat the test somehow. And I don’t know how. I don’t know how they do it, like with masking agents and I’m not saying that that’s the case with Anderson, but if people are going to start questioning that and wondering that, and it’s just….like honestly, my heart bleeds for the guy man.

“Because to think he came back from that injury – and I’m sure a lot of it had to do with helping himself recover from the injury and heal from that. Especially at that stage in life. He’s not 25 anymore. And if that was the case, he was using that to help himself recover, here we are on the back end of this, and he got popped and so now that’s his legacy left what it is. And like I said, I feel bad for him in that sense, but you know we’re in a sport where we’ve taken a hard stance against these PEDs and it’s becoming more and more prevalent. I guess perhaps the testing is getting more sophisticated that you see more and more of these guys getting caught with this stuff and it’s a shame man, because even on my Twitter feed I can see a lot of the public backlash and disappointment in the fans from these athletes and all that kind of stuff.”

“I would be so bold as to say that in sports, when you see people that make a big run – like somebody like me. I’m a good athlete and I won a world title, and I defended it a couple of times, and that’s great for me. But when you see some athletes that are just head and shoulders above the competition, and the guys who can win championships and hold them for years and years and years, and certain dynasty football teams that are able to win so many Super Bowls; you have to start really questioning, like how can one athlete who’s training methods are not significantly different than the rest of the athletes of that sport, separate them so much from everybody else for such a significant period of time?

“And when you look at all these methods of trying to get ahead, whether it be the materials you’re using to run in, or the supplements that you take, and where the line is drawn. Certain supplements are even on banned substance lists and but other supplements are legal to take. And so certain of these supplements – I mean all these supplements are going to improve your performance for one way or the other, but you know somebody is there drawing the line ‘well you know creatine is legal, but this testosterone booster is not legal’ even though maybe it’s just a herb or something like that. And so in this world where you’re constantly trying to get a leg up, it’s just that’s the unfortunate by-product of this thing.

“As a professional athlete, we have such a high standard we try to live up to. And not only that, but we’re having a conversation about me fighting again and I’m 40 years old, trying to fight again in a young man’s sport. And you depend on things like just good nutrition and taking care of your body and all that kind of stuff, but in the end, like my body is wearing down, and wearing down, and wearing down. So we’ve seen it before with aging athletes where in order to keep up with the rest of the competition you start making compromised decisions, where in Anderson’s case I guess you can kind of attribute that to.”

“I’m training all the time and there’s that part of me like ‘Man I’m training all the time, why not?’ But again, my responsibilities that I have in other avenues and like I said before man, that clock is just tick-tick-tick-ticking away. So you know I’m very driven on the job that I have right now with ONE Championship and it would definitely take something special to pull me away from that, but I’m still open to the possibility of doing my last fight for sure.”

“As of right now my last fight is contracted with the UFC so I would have to unless they release me. If they release me and I wanted to do another fight then I could fight for another organization, but no I’m a contracted athlete with that organization so the fight would be there.”