Chael Sonnen Comments on Failed Drug Test: “These are not Performance Enhancing Drugs”, Says Appeal is Coming
By FCF Staff
After the news surfaced Tuesday that Chael Sonnen has failed a pre-fight drug test, and has been removed from UFC 175 as a result, it didn’t take the outspoken fighter long to comment on the situation.
Sonnen appeared on the latest edition of “UFC Tonight” to discuss the results of his random drug test, which he reportedly failed due to the presence of anastrozole and clomiphene. Sonnen was scheduled to fight Vitor Belfort at the upcoming, July 5th event.
Here is some of what Sonnen had to say (quotes via a FOX Sports 1 press release):
Chael Sonnen explains his positive drug test: “There is a huge distinction between illegal versus banned. These are perfectly legal substances. These are not performance-enhancing drugs. These are not anabolics. These are not steroids of any kind. Look, they [the Nevada State Athletic Commission] changed the rules and I’ve got to comply with the rules. However, there is a transition period and I couldn’t have been more open or more transparent. Whether it was UFC TONIGHT, whether it was different interviews, anybody that I could tell or talk to about this, I did. And these are the medications that you have to go on to lead a healthy life. If they’re asking me to choose between my health and my sport, that’s not a choice I can make. I’ve got to choose health.”
Sonnen on if he told the UFC what he was taking: “I wouldn’t be dealing with the UFC officials [on this issue]. This would be between me and the [Nevada State Athletic] Commission and no, I had no opportunity to go before the Commission. I had not spoken to them. The only opportunity you’re ever given to disclose a medication that you’re on is in competition when the State of Nevada comes to you, you do have a form that you can fill out. This was out-of-competition. This was done by a separate lab known as USADA. It’s the finest lab in the world. But these were also strangers. This was not the Nevada Commission that came to me and there was no attempt to have a disclosure form. But even if I had disclosed it, you have to understand this was out of competition and an athlete does not have to remain off of medication 365 days a year. Not in the NCAA, not in the IOC and not even with the Nevada State Athletic Commission; this is unprecedented. As an athlete, if I break my arm and the doctor gives me Vicodin, Vicodin is extremely illegal on fight night, but it’s also an extremely appropriate medicine to cure somebody’s pain if he has a broken arm, and the message that they are sending here is completely wrong.”
Sonnen on if the substance he took was on the banned list: “Yes, it is on the banned list. But you have to understand, that’s for competition. If this was game day, I would not be making any of these statements I’m making to you right now. On game day, you have to come in right. But out of competition, an athlete cannot take an anabolic, he cannot take a performance-enhancer and he cannot take a steroid. The former executive director has many quotes out there that I will bring in to the Commission when I appeal this thing, stating that there is a significant difference between game day and the other 364 days of the year.”
Sonnen on if he’ll appeal: “Absolutely.”
Sonnen on why he took what he took: “I took, under the care of a physician, a perfectly legal medication that is not a performance-enhancer. In fact, one of them is an estrogen blocker that blocks a hormone, even though it’s a female hormone.”
Sonnen on his transition off of testosterone: “I had to take these drugs because they banned testosterone. So to be in compliance, you have to stop with testosterone. Now there’s a transition phase, to come off of testosterone healthily. I have a legitimate medical need for testosterone. I was not an abuser. I was a user of testosterone. So when you come off of this and you have a medical need, you must transition. What you’ll take is Clomiphene and HCG. I took Clomiphene and HCG. This also serves as a fertility drug. That was an accident. I was having fertility issues. That’s not part of my life that I wanted to share with anybody else. And we had success. I took these substances. They’re not illegal and not performance enhancing.”
Sonnen on how he’ll be labeled because of this positive test:“Throughout my career, I have had a number of labels. But in nine months, I will have the label of parent and father and if I have to go through this and choose between having the label of being a father and a parent or having the label of being an athlete, I am going to choose every single time parent and father. I know what I have done and if I had to do it again, I would do it exactly the same way 20 more times.”
Here is some of what UFC President Dana White had to say about the situation on the program:
White on who’s at fault – Sonnen or the Nevada Athletic Commission:“Both are at fault. I think the Nevada State Athletic Commission could have laid it out better for how they were going to end this thing. What would be banned and what wouldn’t be banned for the guys coming down off of it. But again, it’s a matter of them not being very educated on TRT. It’s the thing that made this whole thing impossible anyway. And it’s Chael’s fault too, because Chael should have called the Athletic Commission and said, ‘This is what my doctor told me I need to do to come down off of this stuff, so here is what I’m taking.’ He absolutely should have done that. Because Chael had conversations with his doctors and he’s looking at this thing like, ‘I shouldn’t be in a situation where I have to choose between either my job and the sport and my health, my life outside of fighting.’ And he’s right about that.”