Opinion: Chael Sonnen in Trouble Again
By Jesse Heitz
Oh how today is indeed a good day to be a writer that dabbles in MMA opinion pieces. Even better if you’re the aforementioned writer and possess a particular dislike for Chael Sonnen.
If you haven’t heard the news, which you can find right here on Full Contact Fighter, Chael Sonnen has failed a random pre-UFC 175 drug test. Apparently he tested positive for the banned substances anastrozole and clomiphene. In a recent interview on “UFC Tonight”, and as transcribed by Full Contact Fighter, Sonnen explained his situation by stating,
“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.”
Wasn’t this the very same man who just a handful of days ago did his absolute best to sling mud at Wanderlei Silva for allegedly running from a drug test? And here sits Sonnen, the man in the glass house throwing stones. To be sure, this is what we’ve come to know and love, in some cases despise, about Sonnen. It’s this personality trait that keeps him as a big draw.
However, Sonnen can explain the situation all he wants. He knew what the banned substances were, the changes that have taken place throughout the many athletic commissions regarding certain substances deemed to be performance-enhancing. As such, sitting there trying to argue his way out of it is a bit ridiculous.
Worse yet is trying to backtrack on the issue by arguing that he has to choose his health over the sport. That’s all fine and well and nobody would begrudge him for it. Yet, then it’s time to hang up the gloves rather than proceed with a fight when banned substances are in your system. To be rather blunt, it’s time for Sonnen to face the music. Either he can compete “clean”, or he can’t, but he needs to simply quit making excuses and choose his path.