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Chael Sonnen’s Drug Suspension Reduced After War of Attrition

Posted on by Ken Pishna

Chael Sonnen’s latest war turned into a battle of attrition.

Sonnen, his legal team, and his doctor, met with the California State Athletic Commission on Thursday afternoon in Sacramento, Calif., to appeal a one-year suspension and $2,500 fine.

Chael Sonnen at Dec. 2 hearing before CSAC

Chael Sonnen at Dec. 2 hearing before CSAC

Following a three-hour hearing, Sonnen’s sentence was reduced to a six-month suspension, but the fine was upheld at $2,500. He has thus far served three months of the suspension.

The initial punishment was doled out on Sept. 2 following Sonnen’s UFC 117 bout with Anderson Silva in August in Oakland. He failed a required drug test for the bout. CSAC executive director George Dodd at the time released a statement that read, “A sample from Sonnen’s August 6 drug test came back with a high T/E (testosterone-to-estrogen) level, which is indicative of anabolic steroid use.”

Sonnen and his team went to great pains during his appeal on Thursday to point out that the reason for his elevated testosterone level was due to treatment for a condition diagnosed in 2008 called hypogonadism. Part of his treatment is self-injections of testosterone twice a week.

The problem though was that Sonnen did not reveal his condition on the required medical questionnaire that all fighters must fill out before competing in California.

During his testimony on Thursday, Sonnen indicated that he had provided the disclosure of his condition to the commission in the past – for an October 2009 bout against Yushin Okami in Los Angeles – via facsimile. The commission indicated it had no record of that disclosure.

Sonnen said that approval to compete, despite his condition and treatment, prior to the Okami bout came via a telephone call, but that he had no written record of the commission’s prior approval.

The CSAC has gone through various changes in personnel since that time, but Dodd indicated that records were still intact for the duration of the changes, and that he could find no record of Sonnen’s past disclosure.

After submitting his UFC 117 paperwork that did not disclose his condition or treatment, Sonnen says that he revealed his condition to Dodd the day prior to the fight with Silva. Dodd concurred with Sonnen, but said that he didn’t believe that he could call a halt to the contest because there was no way to have a drug test performed and results returned prior to the bout. Dodd believed he could not call off the fight, per California’s rules, without a positive test result indicating elevated levels of a banned substance.

After all of this was revealed, and following deliberation by the commissioners, it boiled down to two separated issues. First was the issue of whether or not Sonnen followed the proper procedure in disclosing his condition and treatment. Second was the issue of whether or not an athlete with a proven medical condition that required treatment that could interfere with the California’s drug test requirements should be allowed to compete.

“This issue is one of the single biggest issues we’re facing in our sport. We have to handle this the right way,” said Commissioner DeWayne Zinkin, whose major dilemma was disclosure. “I think it’s very important we send a message though in this commission that we have a policy of zero tolerance.”

The CSAC determined that Sonnen had not properly disclosed his condition via the paperwork that he was required to complete in order to compete in the state. At odds over whether he should then be required to fulfill the initial punishment, the commissioners eventually compromised, reducing his suspension to six months, but keeping the fine fully intact.

The commissioners determined that there is a need to address future situations where an athlete with specific medical conditions requires treatment at odds with the state’s drug testing procedures and how to handle such cases.

In stark contrast to his brazen demeanor leading up to the fight with Silva, Sonnen remained stoic throughout the proceedings and declined interview requests as he left the hearing.

  • grimsgrind

    please do NOT delete this. Chael reads these forums and needs to know the community does NOT respect him.
    CHAEL YOU ARE A CHEATER AND LOST THE RESPECT OF ANY TRUE MMA FAN / FIGHTER YOU PEICE OF sh*t
    I HOPE IF YOU DECIDE TO SHOW YOUR FACE IN THE UFC YOU GET BEAT UP BY EVERY f**kING FIGHTER IN YOUR WEIGHT CLASS, WITHOUT THE JUICE EVERYONE CLOSE TO YOU KNOWS YOU AREN’T CAPABLE OF MUCH. EVERYONE IN YOUR HOMETOWN KNOWS YOUR A LYING PEICE OF sh*t MEATHEAD JUNKIE. STICK TO POLITICS AND GET THE f**k OUT OF MIXED MARTIAL ARTS BEFORE YOU GET YOURSELF KILLED BY A REAL FIGHTER LIKE SILVA…
    YOU GUYS HONESTLY BELIEVE CHAEL SUFFERS FROM THIS CONDITION THAT ALLOWS HIM TO TAKE STEROIDS? THATS COMPLETE BULLsh*t, HE WAS TAKING THEM IN HIGHSCHOOL WRESTLING, HE WAS TAKING THEM BOXING AT THE LOCAL GOLDS GYM, HE GOT CAUGHT SHOOTING UP IN THE TANNING BOOTHS YOU DONT EVEN BEGIN TO KNOW THE LEVEL THIS SCUMBAG IS ON…..I WANT THIS TRASH TALKING ROID RAGED JUNKY POLITICIAN RAT OUT OF THE UFC.

    • http://www.bloodyfists.net/forums/index.php SHORT_BUS

      Wow, all caps, must really be mad.

      Serious question Dan, what are your thoughts on Royce Gracie?

    • collideoverme

      Aww let’s cry a river. First of all, “juice” or not, Chael whipped the dogshit out of Silva, and despite the fact he might have to work his way back up, Chael would do it again. He exposed a severe weakness in Silva’s fight game. Secondly, I can promise you that despite Silva’s out of nowhere triangle arm bar submission, that so called “juice” did not help Chael one single bit. That was pure heart. He did it to Marquardt as well and tested clean. Chael will get another chance at Silva and he will win next time. Everything happens for a reason…

  • grimsgrind

    It was dissapointing to see Gracie get caught for roids, however….That man revolutionized MMA back in the day when there was no weight class, no gloves, no rules, and he fought multiple times a night. He made MMA what it is today, so for that I am thankful….Gracie is still a very skilled fighter in my opinion….Chael on the other hand, has been using juice for years just to get by in the sport…that’s pathetic.

    • http://www.bloodyfists.net/forums/index.php SHORT_BUS

      Are you going to go post a rant in the comments section of the Barnett article as well?

      • grimsgrind

        nope..Chael just may be the only guy in the ufc I don’t respect.

  • MrAdidas

    grimsgrind: Can you explain then, why Sonnen has never tested +ve before – for a guy who “juices” all the time? (according to you). Also, why did the CSAC shorten his suspension from 12 months to 6 months if he’s a “juicer”? They/CSAC are suspending him for 6 months for not filling out the proper paper work & NOT for testing +ve, b/c apparently he has a condition which allows him to inject testosterone twice a week. So your claims about him being this & that with NO proof, seing how hes never tested +ve before – until after the Silva fight. Which is funny b/c the CSAC say they do not have any paperwork submited from Sonnen in the past, but then why hasnt he tested +ve before if hes gotten those injections before?!? EI: Before his fight Vs Okami! ALSO: To say Sonnen only EMBARESSED Silva bc of being on the “juice” is idiotic at best. I’d also like to know how you know so much about Sonnen….. “HE WAS TAKING THEM IN HIGHSCHOOL WRESTLING, HE WAS TAKING THEM BOXING AT THE LOCAL GOLDS GYM, HE GOT CAUGHT SHOOTING UP IN THE TANNING BOOTHS”?!? wheres your proff? Anyone can say this & that but seing how hes never tested +ve, ur claims seem to be made purely from hate & BS. Show us the proof that confirms ur allegations/accusations or STFU! Get a LIFE loser!!!

    P.S I dont give 2 shits about Sonnen – I’m jsut sick & tired of morons like ur-self making shit up without any proof.

  • grimsgrind

    and I’m sick of chael’s dick riders like yourself claiming he’s a blue collar captain america…give me a break if you even knew what you were talking about in the slightest when it comes to that dudes personal life you’d be in awe.. He’s scum and everyone close to him knows it. get a life loserrrrr lol what are we in highschool again? I’m just telling the truth. No more time wasted on this pathetic peice of unrespected shit

  • grimsgrind

    “First of all, I would like to apologize to the Junkie Staff…I was alittle bit tipsy last night and when I found out about the whole Chael thing I just flipped out… I really don’t agree with this and honestly believe in the 0 tolerance policy when it comes to Juice. However it doesn’t look like the UFC feels the same way, which in itself is very discouraging. =\ Chael is known as a chronic steroid abuser in his hometown, this is a known fact. He’s been caught doing it in public places. In no way am I “fighter bashing” I just really have a problem with people trying to cheat their way through MMA. I am a purple belt in bjj and have been doing martial arts my entire life, and just don’t think it’s right for people like that to fight side by side and be considered the ‘best fighters in the world’ when they are in the locker room pumping juice minutes before a scrap. It’s not right. Again, I apologize guys for flipping out like I did. I am just shocked that steroids are so accepted in the MMA community and Sonnen just really pushed me over the top, considering I know the truth and people try and defend him, he’s so fake. He needs to stick to politics like Dana said…”

    • http://www.bloodyfists.net/forums/index.php SHORT_BUS

      “Junkie staff”? Still on the sauce I guess. Are you even old enough to drink? You don’t look or act like you’re of age.

      • grimsgrind

        that was posted on mmajunkie.com, not by me….you’re not too smart are you?

  • collideoverme

    Aww let’s cry a river. First of all, “juice” or not, Chael whipped the dogshit out of Silva, and despite the fact he might have to work his way back up, Chael would do it again. He exposed a severe weakness in Silva’s fight game. Secondly, I can promise you that despite Silva’s out of nowhere triangle arm bar submission, that so called “juice” did not help Chael one single bit. That was pure heart. He did it to Marquardt as well and tested clean. Chael will get another chance at Silva and he will win next time. Not to mention the fact that if were “juicing” constantly it hurts and weakens him during a weight cut. Stop being a whiny pussy. Everything happens for a reason…

  • Jayson

    Chael lost the fight period…. I am a fan of Chael but I am sick of hearing how he beat Silva’s ass. A championship fight is five rounds not four. Chael has a huge weakness in his game and that is JIU-JITSU!!!! Four of his 11 loss have come by a triangle choke and he has 8 submission loss total. If Chael goes back in there against an agressive Jiu-jitsu guy like Maia or Jake Shields then he won’t get past the second round. Chael is far from the top of the heap of the middleweights. Silva made him look better than he is because lets face it Silva isn’t fighting to finish anymore. Silva made Patrick Cote and Thales Leites look like they belong at in the top ten which they don’t.

    • collideoverme

      Ok, I have to agree with that. If I’m not mistaken, he has lost all or almost all of his fights by submission. I do remember what Damien Maia did to him.

  • whiteman17

    Hey guys..I remember my first beer haha