If Chael Sonnen (pictured) was even remotely thinking of coming out of retirement, the former UFC middleweight top contender will have to wait at least two years to do so.
During Wednesday’s hearing, the Nevada State Athletic Commission voted unanimously to suspend Sonnen for 24 months for flunking two random drug tests. The 37-year-old must also reimburse the committee for the costs of the exams he failed between May and July.
Some might argue that Sonnen got off easy. There was chatter prior to today’s ruling that he could be fined $250,000.
Sonnen was slated to fight Vitor Belfort at UFC 175. He promptly retired from MMA after his first random drug test showed signs of Anastrozole, Clomiphene and hCG.
A second random exam in July revealed Sonnen tested positive for human growth hormone (HGH), recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO) and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).
Sonnen was then relieved of his broadcasting duties with the UFC and FOX.
Of course, this wasn’t the first occasion Sonnen had cheated during his fighting career. 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.
Sonnen subsequently revealed he had been a longtime user of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), which essentially put the controversial treatment on the map. Sonnen said his recent drug test issues stemmed from adjusting to life without TRT, which he previously claimed he would “die” if he wasn’t taking, since the NSAC banned the synthetic substance in February.
Sonnen leaves the game with a 28-14-1 professional record.