Chael Sonnen to Appeal Failed Drug Test Results

June 10, 2014
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Chael SonnenUFC middleweight and Fox Sports analyst Chael Sonnen plans to appeal his failed drug test at a future hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

The 37-year-old UFC veteran tested positive for the banned substances anastrozole and clomiphene. He was using the drugs to transition off of testosterone replacement therapy. The premise of Sonnen’s argument is that there’s a distinction between out-of-competition and in-competition drug testing.

“This was out-of-competition. An athlete does not have to remain off medication 365 days a year. Not in the NCAA, not in the IOC, and not even with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. This is unprecedented,” Sonnen said during an appearance on Fox Sports 1’s America’s Pregame on Tuesday.

“As an athlete, if I break my arm and the doctor gives me Vicodin, Vicodin is extremely illegal on fight night. But it’s also an extremely appropriate medicine to cure someone’s pain if he has a broken arm. And the message they’re sending here is completely wrong,” he added.

Athletes can submit disclosure forms alerting the commission of any medications they’re on prior to the administration of a test, but Sonnen insists that for the first time in his career there wasn’t a disclosure form. He also admitted that he knew he was going to fail the test, but reiterated that there’s a difference between out-of-competition drug tests and the ones on fight night.

“On game day, you have to come in right. But out-of-competition an athlete cannot take a performance-enhancer and he cannot take a steroid. The former executive director (Keith Kizer) has many quotes out there that I will download and I will bring in to the commission when I appeal this thing stating that there is a significant difference between game day and the other 364 days a year,” he said about his planned appeal.

“Ibuprofen is banned. We can look at the 2012 Olympic games where they took the Gold Medal from the all-around gymnast, the Romanian girl. They took it from her for having a billionth of a trace of ibuprofen. Caffeine is banned. At 6 a.m. every morning, every morning, I’m at the local coffee house buying an espresso. That gets out of my system in 15 minutes, but if they were to test me I’d test positive for caffeine,” said Sonnen while stating his case.

“Marijuana is legal. I’m not an advocate of marijuana, but it is now a legal substance in many different states we have. If any one of those had showed up, I would not be having this conversation because they know what those are. They look at it and go, ‘oh, he’s on caffeine. Oh, he’s on ibuprofen.’ It would go away. They don’t know what these are. And therefore, who gets punished? I get punished. They shouldn’t even be asking me. They should be asking their doctor and say, ‘do you agree with this treatment,” he said.

A complete list of in-competition and out-of-competition prohibited substances can be found on several websites including those of the World Anti-Doping Agency, as well as the United States Anti-Doping Agency, the organization that oversaw the processing of Sonnen’s sample.

According to the WADA prohibited substances list, both of the substances that Sonnen tested positive for, anastrozole and clomiphene, are classified as Hormone and Metabolic Modulators that are prohibited in and out of competition. Human chorionic gonadotropin, a third substance that Sonnen voluntarily admitted taking, is also listed as a prohibited substance both in and out of competition.

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  • bajafox

    Good for him. Looks like he was on those drugs for fertility, which worked because his wife is now pregnant. He had not filed for a license yet. I don’t think they will reverse it but hopefully they will be lenient. He DID NOT take these substances for an advantage, he took them because he had a low sperm count and his wife wanted a baby. Sucks he failed a random drug test that was the result of wanting to start a family.

    • Ian Price

      Let the man fight. It’s Vitor, for crying out loud! He’ll ride him for 3 rounds, TRT or not.

    • Whathuh

      Bullshit. If that the case why not TELL EVERYONE HE IS DOING IT BEFORE THE NEWS BLOWS UP. I hate everyone thinking only belfort doing for an advantage and everyone lynch him for it.. this guy.. TOOK IT 3 TIMES! Heck prob more than 3 DAM TIMES. Then get caught.. It may be true if he did take it to start a family.. but it doesn’t make it an excuse.. we aren’t in the mind of sonnen. People take it for certain reasons believing it for him to start a family is a bullshit. We as mma fans shouldn’t look at it as an excuse and think its ok. Stop fighting then take time off completely be HONEST. I mean seriously what about the other times he took it? what did he try to start a family then to? All i’m saying is everyone is not who they are seem to be. People need to understand this is a huge problem in mma just take time off if you are taking it for personal reason

      • bajafox

        He’s been fighting clean for years. GTFO it dude.

        You must not be married, HAPPY WIFE, HAPPY LIFE.

        When your wife wants to have kids, EVERYTHING ELSE BECOMES NULL AND VOID. Period.

        He did what he needed to do to make his wife happy and getting her pregnant. He’s fkn 37 years old, he doesn’t need to fight anymore. This is not a huge problem, he got randomly tested while banging his wife on substances to put a bun in the oven. That’s it.

  • lololhahahhaa

    This is hilarious. Karma a bitch sonnen.

  • JudoChopSuey

    The only reason he’s even arguing this or that this happened is to make an issue where Vitor can come in and say, “Ya that’s my point, I can do all the roids in the world right up and until fight day, but as long as on that day I’m clean and my levels are good, then why shouldn’t I be able to fight?” Two things: 1 the UFC looks bad right now with the TUF3 Brazil debacle and possibly no fight for the coaches or, Sonnen and replacement(Vitor). 2. If the precedent can be made that professional “out-of-competition” fighters can be on whatever they wish, then all the fighters who use steroids/performance enhancing drugs have nothing to worry about any more with any testing body, because all they would have to do next is argue that “out-of-competition” means every moment before 24 hour fight time. I ask this about Sonnen, if you were scheduled to fight Wanderlei and then Vitor how are you “out-of-competition” and using banned substances YOU know you will test positive for?

    • Chris Morgan

      The UFC looks bad for the TUF 3 debacle and nothing else. Like it or not, the precedent of “in competition” vs. “out-of-competition” already exists (albeit in other sports). The main question that needs to be asked is what is an athlete’s intent where it pertains to banned substance usage. For instance, Nicklas Backstrom failed an “in competition” drug test at the Olympics by taking allergy medication. I don’t think someone with a well-documented history of allergies is trying to gain a competitive advantage by using allergy meds.

      The fact of the matter is that the only way PED usage will be eradicated is if commissions don’t allow the usage of any drugs or supplements or they receive more funding in order to test more frequently. Since I doubt either of those will happen, issues like this will continue to happen.

  • Mark McDowall

    1. Sonnen made himself look like a total dumbass by going after Wand like he did…saying he’s a cheater etc…when he was knowingly taking banned substances.

    2. I agree with him saying that they aren’t “on the clock” 365 days a year. But when you have a signed fight it’s kind of a dumb idea to knowingly take banned substances.

    3. Doing it to help him and his wife have a baby is a very respectable thing. But if thats the reason…either do it when you don’t have a signed fight, or let the proper authorities know so it doesn’t come out looking shady.

    4. How come he needed to “transition” off of TRT…Hendo didn’t? According to both of them they both needed it…

    • Chris Morgan

      Just because Hendo apparently went “cold turkey” doesn’t mean that it would’ve worked for Sonnen. Plus, Hendo already had experience getting off of TRT when he was unable to use it fighting Rashad last year. There’s also the matter of we don’t know what kind of regimen Hendo and Sonnen were on. For all we know, the regimens could’ve been vastly difference.

      • Brent

        What???? An educated argument on MMA Weekly?

  • George Sperry

    He’s a criminal, a cheat and a loud mouth hypocrite.

  • 8===D

    MMA fans are dumb, and they all think they’re experts on PED’s, lol.

  • I’ve Lost My Smile

    Why is he blaming the NSAC for him failing a drug test, the reason they were testing him was because he was going to be fighting in their state. The 3 substances are banned. If he was trying to come off TRT as he claims then why sign for a fight if you still need to use them to return your body to the “normal” state? If it is going to take him a year to get clean then he needs to take a year off and get clean. Don’t blame the commission he could have cleared this up in advance but he didn’t and now he needs to be punished … again this is what his 3rd time?

  • matt1647

    He cheated, he knew they were banned end of story! 3 time busted. Bad luck
    Chael you live by the sword , you die by the sword.