SportsIllustrated.com spoke this afternoon with California State Athletic Commission executive director George Dodd, who issued further details regarding UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen’s recent drug test failure.
Sonnen put on possibly the best performance of his career this past August when he challenged UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva for his belt at UFC 117; though he did not win (Silva submitted Sonnen via triangle late in round five), Sonnen performed better against “The Spider” than any of his previous UFC challengers, dominating the Brazilian dynamo for the majority of five rounds. His victory may now forever be marred as it was revealed by the CSAC yesterday that Sonnen had failed his UFC 117 pre-fight drug screening for performance enhancing drugs.
According to CSAC executive director George Dodd, Sonnen failed his test for registering an abnormally high level of testosterone. The one-time Oregonian political hopeful actually informed the commission beforehand that he had been using a substance that could alter his test, although he failed to list any medical reason for the necessary ingestion of a testosterone-altering drug.
“He only indicated that he was taking it but he never indicated why,” said Dodd. “Just let me know he was taking [something] and that’s when I called over an inspector to get it documented. But when you do take it you still have to show a medical reason. Whenever you’re taking an enhancing drug you have to let the commission know prior to even taking the test that you’re taking, and what the medical reasons are why you’re taking the drug. That way we can verify with our commission doctors that the reason you’re taking that is the reason you should be on that type of drug. You can’t just come in and say, ‘Hey, I’m taking this,’ and think that’s going to get you off.”
Sonnen will be subject to a year-long mandated suspension and a $2,500 fine, though he has thirty days to file an appeal. It is unclear now what affect this news will have on Sonnen’s immediate rematch with Silva, which has been heavily rumored for a UFC event to take place at the beginning of next year.