Chael Sonnen Admits Use of HGH, EPO in Response to NSAC Complaint

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Chael Sonnen Admits Use of HGH, EPO in Response to NSAC Complaint
USA Today

Chael Sonnen has made his official response to the Nevada State Athletic Commission's complaint regarding his two failed drug tests in June and acknowledges taking all five of the banned substances he was accused of using.

Sonnen made the response through his lawyer, Jeff Meyer. The statement was obtained Wednesday by MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani.

According to his lawyer, "Mr. Sonnen does not dispute any of the factual allegations contained in the First Amended Complaint. Mr. Sonnen accepts responsibility for his actions and will comply with the Commission in the prompt resolution of this matter."

Sonnen failed two drug tests administered in June. The first saw him test positive for clomiphene and anastrozole, with Sonnen acknowledging his use of a third banned substance, hCG.

Those three drugs do not technically qualify as PEDs (hCG and anastrozole are banned for their use in restarting the body's testosterone production following steroid use), which had many believing Sonnen's first drug test failure was a mere miscommunication between Sonnen and the NSAC. 

However, his second failed drug test yielded flags for human erythropoietin (EPO) and human growth hormone (HGH), PEDs associated with disgraced athletes such as Lance Armstrong and Barry Bonds. 

While Sonnen retired from MMA following the first failed drug test in June, as Jesse Holland from MMAMania explains, "it doesn't work that way. As a professional athlete operating with a government license, you remain bound to the rules and regulations of participating commissions...Meaning, if Nevada State Athletic Commission incurs an exorbitant expense to make sure you're playing fair, and you're not, you can't just skip town and stick them with the bill."

The severity of the charges against Sonnen saw the UFC and Fox Sports fire Sonnen from their broadcast team nine days ago. Numerous prominent past and present fighters have chimed in as well, supporting the improved drug testing and handling of this situation.

Sonnen's case will be heard by the NSAC on July 23, at which point he will likely face fines, a suspension and more drug testing should he attempt to return to MMA afterward. That said, fans will still have the opportunity to see Sonnen compete in a grappling match against Andre Galvao at Metamoris 4 in August. 

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