Until the very end, there were many who wanted to believe in Chael Sonnen.
You've heard me say this before, but I will say it again: Sonnen is one of the nicest people you'll meet in mixed martial arts. I mean genuinely nice. He looks you in the eye when he shakes your hand, and he goes out of his way to help people in need. He doesn't want people to talk about those moments, because they go against the "character" he has cultivated over the past few years, and that character is what took him from the preliminary card all the way to main events and network television broadcasts.
And so when Sonnen recently failed a drug test for anastrozole and HCG, you wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. He was transitioning off testosterone replacement therapy, after all, and that can't be an easy thing to accomplish without some sort of artificial help.
Yes, he made a gigantic mistake in not going through the proper commission channels—or any sort of channels at all, really—because he has been through this sort of thing before, and he knows what the end result will be. But it's still easy to overlook Sonnen's usage of the two aforementioned drugs, because he was transitioning off testosterone usage and taking drugs to help kick-start his body's natural production.