Chael Sonnen Announces Retirement in Wake of Failed Drug Test
By FCF Staff
Although Chael Sonnen has said he plans to appeal the results of a random drug test he failed recently, the charismatic veteran has announced he’s retiring from pro MMA.
On Tuesday, it was revealed that Sonnen has failed a random drug test that he was required to take by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, in preparation for the July 5th, UFC 175. Sonnen was supposed to fight Wanderlei Silva at the event, but after the latter failed to apply for a license, and take a random drug test, Vitor Belfort was booked for the bout.
After arguing to FOX Sports 1 on Tuesday that he hasn’t taken any performance enhancing drugs, in the Wednesday edition of “UFC Tonight”, Sonnen announced the following (quote via FOX Sports 1 press release):
“Guys, I’ve had a great time. I want to thank coaches Roy Pittman and Dave Sanville and I want to thank my coach Clayton Hires. These guys taught me how to fight and they taught me how to set goals and work hard and persevere, and they stood by me. I want to thank FOX and the leadership at UFC. I want to think Bill Brady, who gave me a second wind. He’s a member of the Nevada State Athletic Commission and he believed in me when I really needed someone to believe in me. And I owe the second wind in my career to him. And I want to thank the single most important opponent I’ve ever had, I couldn’t have gotten where I am without the dance partner, Anderson Silva. Thank you for the opportunity and the memories. Thank you for the invitation to the barbecue. I want to officially announce my retirement from competitive mixed martial arts.”
Sonnen also had this to say, when asked if he takes responsibility for the failed drug test:
“I absolutely take responsibility. When I spoke with Dana White yesterday, and he was on FOX Sports 1, he was very clear to say that Chael needed to talk to the commission. I agree with that. This was out of competition testing. I’m only the third athlete to go through this. There are some moving parts and a little bit of a learning curve. In the meanwhile, my wife and I were having problems with fertility. This is a matter of health and being a parent and this is a matter of being able to live in the next chapter of my life. At no point was there an attempt to slip around the system. I want to admit fault and accept full responsibility. Yesterday when this came out, I was mad. I was a fighter and I went in defense mode. However ultimately the rules are the rules and I’m a rules guy, I don’t want to break the rules. And ultimately it comes down to the athlete to make sure he’s in compliance.”
The 37 year-old Sonnen, who was a testosterone-replacement-therapy user until the NSAC banned it earlier this year, retires with a record of 28-14-1. Most recently the star was stopped by former light-heavyweight champ Rashad Evans in the first round.
Sonnen will likely be most remembered for his rivalry with former middleweight champ Anderson Silva. In 2010, Sonnen dominated the legendary fighter for four rounds, before getting caught with a fifth round, triangle-choke.
The decorated wrestler worked his way into a rematch in 2012, however, this time around Silva stopped Sonnen in the second round.