The California State Athletic Commission released an official statement regarding the suspension of UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen earlier today. It was reported last Saturday night that the outspoken fighter had tested positive for steroids following his career-defining performance against UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva this past August at UFC 117. According to CSAC executive director George Dodd, Sonnen had indicated prior to his test that he was using a substance that could trigger a positive test result, though he never indicated any justifiable medical reason for taking any such substance.
“A sample from Sonnen’s August 6 drug test came back with a high T/E (testosterone-to-estrogen) level, which is indicative of anaboloic steroid use,” the statement read. “CSAC learned of the results September 2 and ordered a second test, which also came back positive for steroid use. CSAC received test results from the second sample on September 14 and suspended Sonnen two days later. He is suspended for one year. Sonnen has 30 days to appeal the decision.
“‘The use of anabolic steroids and other banned substances are not tolerated by the commission,’ said CSAC Executive Officer George Dodd. ‘Anabolic agents put the health and safety of both the user and his opponents at risk.’
“Sonnen’s test was observed in the presence of a CSAC representative and the sample was sent to the World Anti-doping Agency test facility at the University of California, Los Angeles on August 6, 2010 for processing.”
Sonnen’s manager, Mike Roberts, told MMAJunkie.com yesterday that his client will be appealing the failed test with the CSAC but was unable to offer much more information.
“It is our policy not to comment on pending actions by the athletic commission,” Roberts stated. “Chael is consulting with his legal [advisers] and physicians and will have a statement in the near future. Chael will file an appeal with the CSAC and looks forward to working with the commission to resolve this matter.”
“There’s not much else I can say at this point,” he added.
Dodd spoke with media earlier in the week and revealed that Sonnen will have thirty days to file his appeal, with the earliest his appeal could be heard being this December 2nd. Sonnen’s initial test was reexamined at the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory after showing up positive for PEDs. No word yet on how this will affect his proposed rematch with Anderson Silva, which was likely to take place in early February. Should Sonnen’s appeal be turned down, he will face a $2,500 fine and a mandated year-long suspension.
Thanks to Mark Wayne for contributing to this article.