Chael Sonnen Discusses ‘Terrible’ Life Without Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)

Written by Tom Ngo
March 5th, 2014

UFC Middleweight Chael Sonnen

Just two years ago before his highly anticipated rematch with then-middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 148, Chael Sonnen (pictured) claimed he needed to take testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), otherwise he “would die.”

Now that the Nevada State Athletic Commission and the UFC have banned TRT, Sonnen simply says life is just “completely terrible” without it. Well, at least that’s far better than dying…

“It puts me in a spot, because medically, I do need testosterone,” Sonnen told Yahoo! Sports of his dependency on the controversial treatment. “I have to look at this carefully, but they made no bones about it: It’s out. We all have to deal with that, whether we like it or not.”

While Vitor Belfort has become the poster child for TRT, Sonnen is the one who made the regimen famous nearly four years ago when he tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone after nearly upsetting Silva at UFC 117. Sonnen’s testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio was clocked at 16.9:1, over four times the legal limit (4:1) permitted by the California State Athletic Commission, who oversaw the event.

Sonnen has continued to use TRT since his failed drug test in August 2010, but hasn’t flunked another drug exam since. However, now that the doctor-prescribed treatment has been banished, Sonnen admits to having trouble adjusting to life without TRT.

“The best way to describe is that it is a completely terrible, horrible feeling,” Sonnen said of eliminating TRT from his system. “This is a medicine and it’s medicine I need to live normally on a day-to-day basis. People say it is a performance enhancer, and there are a lot of things guys can take to enhance performance. But testosterone is more than a performance enhancer for me. It is a life enhancer.

“My life is better. My attitude is better. I have more energy. I need less sleep. It makes me feel better in many different regards. It makes me a better husband and a better neighbor and a better pet owner. I understand the abuse, but this is a medicine that helps people with a problem.”

Sonnen, who turns 37 in April, is scheduled to face bitter rival Wanderlei Silva later this year after fulfilling their posts as opposing coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil.”

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