By Lance LeVan
The months of May and June 2014 are not ones that Chael Sonnen will soon forget. On May 24, he failed a Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) drug test for performance enhancing drugs (PED). They gave him another random drug test on June 5 …and imagine that…he failed that one too. Dana White has two pet peeves: Fighters not making weight and failing NSAC drug tests. On Monday, June 30, the UFC and FOX Sports made announcements stating that they would be terminating his “broadcasting services agreements”. He announced his “retirement” from MMA on June 11, after the news that he failed the first NSAC drug test. So…in approximately six weeks, he has lost almost his entire livelihood. Dana White had even hinted at the fact that Chael might take over running the UFC some day. MAN…Chael Sonnen screwed up.
Now, after reading more of the story and digging into the facts a little deeper, I understand why he was taking PED’s when he was tested. He was taking testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) because he and his wife were trying to have a child. To wean himself off of TRT, his doctor had him taking other PED’s. Chael doesn’t deny any of what the commission has said or their findings. He is not trying to lie about it or hide it. Now, granted, he should have waited to apply for his license until everything was out of his system. And he should not have tried to say that the PED’s he was taking were allowed during an “out-of-competition” time frame. That is totally untrue. The drugs he was taking are on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) prohibited list…in or out of competition. Also, he is supposed to meet with the NSAC to dispute their findings later this month. I am very interested to hear how he is going to try and get out of this. He was tested…he failed the test…he had PED’s in his system…he’s guilty. The reasoning for WHY the drugs were in his system are totally irrelevant.
Where does this leave Chael? Both of his broadcasting gigs are gone. He is retired from MMA fighting. Invariably, his sponsors will begin to start dropping like flies. Since he hasn’t released an official statement since the second failed drug test, I think it is still too early to know where he goes from here. We also need to see what, if anything, comes from his hearing with the NSAC. Several other fighters have been caught “juicing” and they have all received a suspension, a monetary fine, and the public humiliation of being caught. I think that Chael getting popped twice in such a short time span forces the UFC and Dana White to make an example of him. In my opinion, he will not be back in the UFC anytime soon, if ever. On the flip side of that coin…I think that there are other organizations that would probably pick him up to either broadcast or fight. I don’t think that his career in MMA is over…far from it. But if you look at this objectively…Chael Sonnen screwed up.