Chael Sonnen Admits ‘I Knew What I Was Doing; I Tried to Game the System’

August 14, 2014
32 Comments

Chael SonnenFor a fighter that ended his career with a 29-14-1 record, Chael Sonnen enjoyed a tremendous amount of success in the final years of his career.

It ended on an extremely sour note, amidst failing two random drug tests, but financially at least, Sonnen did well by carving out a niche as MMA’s heel. His star shone brightly when he took a page out of professional wrestling’s book and became the man in MMA that everybody loved to hate when he amplified his bravado and relentlessly needled his opponents.

There comes a point, however, when even the heel has to shed the shtick and man up. That day of reckoning has come for Sonnen, who readily admits he knew what he was doing when he failed those two drug tests and that he was fully in the wrong.

“The rules are clear. I broke them,” said Sonnen during a recent interview on the This is Jericho podcast. “You gotta get punished, and I was. And I’ll honor it.”

SEE ALSO: Chael Sonnen Waives His Right to a Hearing

The first drug test was administered on May 24 in Las Vegas, the second on June 5 in Portland, Ore., resulting in the illumination of five banned substances: anastrozole, clomifene, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), human growth hormone (hGH) and recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO).

“I was hit on a surprise test that was 44 days before a fight. Generally in our business we’re tested fight night, so whatever it is you’re doing or you’re not doing, you gotta show up clean on fight day,” Sonnen explained to Chris Jericho. “When I talk about being dirty, I’m not talking about steroids or illegal drugs. I always have to make this distinction. At least in our sport, if you ever fail a drug test, you are automatically taking something illegal and they were steroids. That’s just the way that it works in the media and the people’s minds.

“First off, none of them were illegal, and none of them were steroids, but I’ve never offered a defense. I turned in my prescriptions. I got this from the doctor, this is valid stuff, but these are still against the rules,” he continued.

“I knew it. I didn’t think I’d be tested for another 44 days. I tried to game the system.”

Sonnen briefly argued in his own defense following the first failed drug test coming to light, since all of the substances involved were reasonably linked to his proclaimed medical condition of hypogonadism and difficulties in fathering a child.

But when the second, more damning failed test, was unearthed, he didn’t try to explain it away. The second failed drug test included the commonly abused performance enhancers human growth hormone (hGH) and recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO).

At that point, Sonnen knew he could no longer put up a façade.

“I didn’t want to say anything that could water down my guilt. I thought it was important when you’re wrong, just say you’re wrong, and I was wrong,” he admitted.

“I’m a grown man. I knew what I was doing. I thought I could have my cake and eat it too. I didn’t take anything illegal, but I’m getting technical here. I’m wrong. That’s the end of it. Be a man and walk away.”

And that’s what he did. With all the fallout from the two drug tests, Sonnen retired from mixed martial arts and was terminated from his broadcasting contract with FOX and the UFC.

SEE ALSO: Chael Sonnen Narrowly Averts Lance-Armstrong-Like Lifetime Ban

Later, the Nevada Athletic Commission also suspended Sonnen from fighting for the next two years.

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  • Darin

    “…be a man and walk away.” Yes you did…and now you’re back. Why? Stay away, loser.

    You want sympathy for your self deprecating honesty? Now? F&^% off, Chael.

  • TheCerealKiller

    “I didn’t take anything illegal”, just something banned by your sport! They should make it a once a month test mandatory for anyone that is signed by a fight brand. Vitor and Wand claiming they didn’t have a license or a fight scheduled is a bunch of crap.

    • Mark McDowall

      Shows you how stupid he really is huh…

    • MikeMcK83

      I doubt they want to pay for test for nearly 500 people every month. Test are not cheap, especially the ones they give those guys.

  • DamianCross

    You gotta get punished, and I was. And I’ll honor it. And participate in the very first event the governing body warns me not to attend.

    • MikeMcK83

      Interesting that he said he received a notice from the nsac saying they were notified he was going to be in a “fight.”
      He said he responded that he was going to be in the grappling match, and that if they didn’t want to then he wouldn’t, but that they never responded back. He thought that they were misinformed and doesn’t believe they have an issue with competing.

      Of course that’s what he said happened. Who knows whether it’s true. I haven’t heard of the nsac say anything after the initial report so he might be telling the truth.

    • Ahmaid Ahdoodi

      Huh? Chael IS honoring the terms of his punishment. The NAC doesn’t regulate jiu-jitsu matches at all, and they never have, so they have absolutely no legal say regarding Metamoris events. In this case, the NAC were attempting to overstep their own established legal boundaries. They’re either trying to be bureaucratic bullies, or else they’re genuinely idiots and ignorant of their own rules.

      • DamianCross

        Still not exactly what I’d call “honoring it”

  • peeter mans

    ok ok…just go away man…you lost almost half your fights..you’ve never even been a has-been or serious contender…hopefully we never hear your dumb nasal sounding voice again….

    • lowlb

      His voice was horrible…

  • MuayThaiFood

    Chael admits that when he’s backed into a corner like a rat in a cage with absolutely no other way out that he “gamed” the system.
    He’ll still not admit that the whole “TRT treatment” was a fraudulent attempt gain access to drugs illegally. Yes, technically the drugs are not illegal WITH a prescription but when you obtain them without one or get a precription fraudulently, by lying to or conspiring with a doctor then they are. Nothing this guy says that puts himself in a good light should be believed. It’s very clear he hasn’t learned anything from his mistakes. This guy is crooked on a sociopath level.

    • MikeMck83

      Just curious, why does he have to be lying about getting TRT legitimately?
      If a guy steals a car does it automatically mean he stole the house he lives in?
      It could easily be true that he has/had low testosterone. It could also be true that if he had low levels he would have illegitimately used TRT anyway, but it doesn’t mean he did.
      I get that people think he’s a bad guy, but it doesn’t mean mean he does everything bad.

      • MuayThaiFood

        Houses aren’t generally stolen that I’m aware of. If he stole a car he most likely doesn’t own a house anyway. Yes, I suppose he could own a house and be an otherwise responsible member of society but then stealing cars would seem out of character. Are you seeing where I’m going with this?
        The only things Chael has admitted to are things we already know about. He’s revealed nothing new in this article. The scenario I suggested fits well with his modus operandi. I think there is much more to suggest that he fraudulently obtained the exemption than proves he did not especially when you look at his track record.

        • Mike mckinney

          I get what you’re trying to say, but theives certainly own other things. (Houses are stolen usually to con men getting them to invest in something and putting their house up.”
          If Chael were getting prescriptions for things from a doctor there’s nothing to say that he lied about his situation. Even if he did, all the crap he was taking is prescribed based upon test. Especially if an insurance company is involved. The insurance company will want to see the diagnosis before paying for any of it. Of course if he payed cash for all of it then the insurance doesn’t matter at all.
          He could have found a dirty doctor, but there’s nothing to show that he needed to.
          I can walk into a doctors office and get prescribed most of what he did. ( I have low t levels)
          There doesn’t have to be fraud. If he were getting the drugs through another avenue, like from a friend then there’s a reason to think he’d skirt the law for it.
          Based on his history it’s likely he’d have low T levels. Based on age, and other drug usage.

    • Seth

      Same as Belfort. Yet you don’t bash him and scream for a title fight for a cheater. Hipocricy?

      • MuayThaiFood

        Same how? Vitor got any felonies? Did Vitor get popped for having SEVERAL banned substances him recently that I didn’t hear about? Yeah, I know he was tested out of competition and BEFORE he had even applied with the NSAC and his T/E ratio was high but he had a plausible story and the NSAC apparently thought so too. Not to say he wasn’t playing the system as were most likely 99% of the other fighters on TRT but he’s nowhere near Chael’s level. Oh, and he’s a hell of a lot more exciting to watch than Chael.

        • Seth

          He F’d his body with PEDs, got caught and asked for illegal substances, because his body couldn’t produce it. Cheating is cheating. If you bash someone for TRT and PEDs, you can’t praise another one…ow, wait you can. You are a hipocrite, so you can do that. Sorry, continue on with your life.

  • Mark McDowall

    This is the definition of shady A F. Proving that Sonnen always was and probably always will be a cheater…he needs a life time ban. He’s an idiot….

  • Ball Deep

    So your telling me for the past decade they never thought to test athletes during training camp???

    • Seth

      Go to JRE with Victor Conte. You will see how easy it is to cheat at the Olympics. Then you will understand a few things.

  • lowlb

    Umk, let him walk away.. Kale Who?

  • George Sperry

    Typical Sonnen. He didn’t take anything illegal but he was wrong and though he didn’t take anything illegal he will take his punishment. Denial is not a river in Egypt.

    So he made ass’es of all his defenders… and they were told at the time he was doing that.

    • Lick It

      Evidently you didn’t understand the article or don’t know how to read.

  • clown

    He is the goat, he beat prime anderson SON! 4 rounds to 1.. do the math…. is that crickets i hear?
    How do you think he got all those title fights IDIOTS.. ufc only gives title shots to the number one contender! They dont care about money they care about the fans first! Daina said so!
    F all you haters….

    Daina never lies!

    • D$

      Are you serious? Last time I checked he lost to The Spider twice once he got submitted and the other TK0’d. Rounds dont matter when someone gets finished smart guy.

      • Seth

        He’s trolling…don’t you see that? .-.

    • Mark McDowall

      I must be missing something…all these years of watching MMA…and I have never seen anywhere that they keep track of rounds won/lost. So either I’m missing something…or it’s a completely pointless statistic that Sonnen nut huggers have to cling to.

      And “UFC only gives title shots to #1 contenders” is a joke. He was fighting at 185…and Hendo got hurt….so Sonnen stepped up. Not sure how a MW fighter can be the #1 contender at LHW having not fought in that division in years.

      • Seth

        Dont feed the troll, please. C:

        • Mark McDowall

          Sorry didn’t see the sign….

    • AXE MURDERER

      shale is that you?

  • SuperDong

    I think it’s time for Sonnen to realize the only job he’ll be able to get is with the WWE.

  • dathump

    The new slogan for Sonnen’s pizza place. “Try a sonnen special, 1 large, no meat, lots of sauce and cheese perfect for your cheat day”