According to California State Athletic Commission Executive Officer George Dodd, UFC Middleweight contender Chael Sonnen has been notified that he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs following his UFC 117 loss to Anderson Silva.
The event, held at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, drew nearly 13,000 fans live to see the main event, which featured the much-anticipated bout between Sonnen and Silva for the UFC Middleweight Championship
Sonnen, who shockingly dominated most of the fight, was eventually submitted by Silva in the final minutes of the fifth round, but gained much respect from the MMA community.
“[Sonnen] received his notice yesterday,” Dodd told Sherdog.com on Saturday night.
Dodd did not state which substance was found in the test, but did mention that all fighters had passed their drugs-of-abuse scan, meaning that Sonnen has failed the test for a performance-enhancing substance.
If Sonnen elects not to appeal his suspension, he is looking at a long suspension. Similar cases involving UFC stars Sean Sherk and Hermes Franca, who both tested positive for PEDs, resulted in both fighters being suspended for a period of one year with hefty fines.
If Sonnen does elect to appeal his suspension and can tell a convincing tale, he could see his suspension dropped similarly to Sherk’s, who ended up serving only a six-month suspension.
With the UFC trying to prove its superiority of athletes over other sports, positive PED tests from main event fighters cannot be looked upon favorably by management.
Sonnen was considered by many to be deserving of a rematch following his UFC 117 performance, which was by far the closest fight of Anderson Silva’s UFC career, but it looks as if the rematch will have to wait.
Update: The CSAC Director George Dodd has now stated that Sonnen tested positive with,"Well above normal levels of testosterone." The chemical in Sonnen's system was not a natural substance and, instead, a steroid.
Sonnen has 30 days to respond to the notice and appeal it if he so chooses. He faces a 12-month suspension and a $2,500 fine from the CSAC.