Following news that he failed a random drug test administered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Chael Sonnen appeared on Fox Sports 1's America's Pregame alongside UFC President Dana White to discuss how it came about.
The conversation was started by White, who was quick to defend Sonnen, saying "there will be effects of stopping (Testosterone Replacement Therapy) cold turkey. It doesn't work that way." Testosterone Replacement Therapy, of course, is the controversial use of synthetic testosterone overseen by a doctor in order to combat low testosterone. The practice was widely panned by fans and media and was banned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in February.
Dana White says fighters who were on TRT can't just go cold turkey, they have to find a way to adjust after they drop off #UFC— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) June 10, 2014
White went onto criticize the NSAC's handling of the ban on TRT, "if they don't take these (drugs), there are consequences...It's a matter of (the athletic commissions) were not very educated on TRT." Fighters like Sonnen and Vitor Belfort were forced to end using TRT on very short notice. Indeed, there can be serious problems that can come about when discontinuing TRT suddenly.
He did, however, acknowledge fault on Sonnen's part, too, "it's Chael's fault, too, because he should've said 'this is what my doctor told me to come off TRT.'"
When Sonnen took over he said "they changed the rules...I couldn't have been more open or transparent. Anyone I could talk to about this, I did...if they ask me to choose between my health and my sport, I have to choose my health." Worth noting is that Sonnen stated he was not given the opportunity to disclose his use of any drugs.
Sonnen: The only opportunity you're ever given to disclose any substances you're on is when you're in-competition.— Shaun Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) June 10, 2014
Sonnen stated he knew the drugs he tested positive for were illegal but countered "the former executive director stated 'there is a significant difference between game day and the other 364 days a year.'" He said, definitively, that he would challenge the NSAC's ruling.
Sonnen tested positive for anastrozole and clomiphene. Both drugs are banned by the WADA both in and out of competition. The drugs are commonly used for maintaining estrogen levels in women but are most often used by men to help taper off steroid use or, in this case, testosterone replacement therapy.
He acknowledged taking the banned substances on Fox Sports Radio's Jay Mohr Sports saying (via FoxSportsRadio.com), "for me during the transition, I had to take a couple of things. One is called clomiphene and another is called HCG."
Both clomiphene and HCG have led to high-profile suspensions in the past. Former Cincinnati Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball in 2008 after testing positive for clomiphene. More recently, UFC featherweight Dennis Siver was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for using HCG.
(that last line was a quote from Sonnen). He says he knew that both substances were banned when he took them.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) June 10, 2014
Sonnen will likely appear before the Nevada State Athletic Commission in the coming months. Stick with Bleacher Report for more details as they become available.
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