Sonnen has been using TRT since 2008 and insists that, even though he was suspended by the California State Athletic Commission in 2010, he has never done anything wrong.
"That (TRT exemption for UFC Fight Night 26) got accepted on the record. They had a meeting. But, I never broke a rule anywhere. In California, they said that your T to E ratio [testosterone to epitestosterone] was high. Well it was! I was on testosterone. That gap is your ratio. All that tells you is what they already knew, that I was on testosterone. They didn’t understand their own test. They go, “No, your levels are way too high, you’re 17 to 1.” It’s like, guys, I could be 1700 to 1, I’m still within the legal limit. You don’t understand your own test. So they give me six months [suspension] instead of a year. The referee that night is now in prison and that executive director is back home in Washington state and has been fired. But these are the guys that I’m working with. This is what you get when you deal with government."
After giving then-seemingly invincible middleweight champ Anderson Silva all he could handle for almost 22 minutes at UFC 117 in August 2010, "The American Gangster" got caught in a triangle choke and tapped out after initially trying to fight through the submission.
Afterwards, Sonnen was suspended by the CSAC for, as he recalled, having a testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio of 16.9 to 1, with the highest T-to-E ratio permissible by the commission being 4-to-1 (via Sherdog).
The Team Quest standout won his initial appeal in December 2010, with the CSAC agreeing that the issue at hand was that Sonnen failed to disclose a medical condition, hypogonadism, which limits the body's production of testosterone (via Cage Potato).
However, the CSAC suspended Sonnen for another six months after he was convicted of money laundering, also believing "Uncle Chael" may have provided false testimony during his appeal (via CageSideSeats.com).
Sonnen implied he considered taking his suspension case to court, but decided the suspension would be over before a court hearing concluded.
Over three years later, Sonnen says the whole ordeal left a bad taste in his mouth, saying that the CSAC has "the blind leading the blind" and "they don't know their own rules."
The former two-time All-American wrestler has a tough task awaiting him on August 17 in the form of PRIDE star/ex-UFC 205-pound titleholder Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
Sonnen is just 2-3 in his past five bouts, though his losses came to Silva (twice) and current pound-for-pound top dog Jon Jones. He also boasts a 7-1 record in his past eight non-title match ups.
Shogun, who Sonnen called "a true legend," is an even 5-5 under the UFC banner, a far cry from his incredible 12-1 record inside the PRIDE ring.
Rua was out-scored in each round by upcoming light heavyweight title challenger Alexander Gustafsson in his most recent fight at UFC on FOX 5 in December.
Will Sonnen show he can still be a legitimate threat at 205-pounds or will Rua pull out a vintage performance and shock the TD Garden with a brutal knockout?