Chael Sonnen Fails Second Random Drug Test for HGH and EPO

Written by Tom Ngo
June 29th, 2014

UFC Middleweight Chael Sonnen

Despite retiring from mixed martial arts earlier this month, Chael Sonnen (pictured) just can’t stay out of the flunked random drug test headlines.

On Saturday night, MMAFighting confirmed with Nevada State Athletic Commission chairman Francisco Aguilar that Sonnen failed a second surprise drug screening on June 5 after testing positive for human growth hormone (HGH), recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO) and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).

Prior to announcing his retirement from professional fighting, Sonnen failed his first random exam for Anastrozole and Clomiphene. He later admitted to also taking hCG.

At the time, Sonnen said he needed to take the banned (“not illegal”) substances to combat life without testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), a controversial treatment Sonnen has enjoyed the benefits of for years but was banned by the NSAC in February.

“Yes, the Commission is aware of other prescribed medications I was taking and I will not challenge their allegations,” Sonnen expressed in a statement to MMAFighting. “I will cooperate with the Commission and look forward to having a dialogue about how fighters who transition off TRT can avoid violating any rules.”

Sonnen was slated to fight Vitor Belfort on July 5 at UFC 175. The 37-year-old called it quits after his first failed random drug test, which was initially administered in May, came to light.

UFC public relations director Dave Sholler issued a brief statement during Saturday’s “UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Stephenson” post-fight press conference on the promotion’s behalf.

“We are made aware that a second random test conducted earlier this month resulted in a positive test for additional banned substances,” Sholler said. “Chael will have an opportunity to appear in front of the Nevada State Athletic Commission later this month, and through a statement released to the media, he has pledged to cooperate.

“We will support the commission and continue to ensure that all UFC competitors compete on an even playing field free of performance enhancing drugs and banned substances.”

On June 17, the NSAC handed Sonnen a temporary suspension for his first flunked random exam. Aguilar said the committee will now include the verdict of Sonnen’s second failed test before issuing their final ban.

Sonnen will have the chance to stand before the commission at their July 23 meeting in Las Vegas.

However, seeing as how Sonnen’s now retired, it doesn’t really matter how long they suspended him.

This marks Sonnen’s third positive test under the UFC’s watch. He failed a drug test after losing to then-middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 117 when he clocked a testosterone/epitestosterone (T/E) ratio of 16.9:1, more than four times the legal limit permitted by the California State Athletic Commission. The average man has a T/E ratio of 1:1.

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