While Chael Sonnen has remained mum on the drug test heard ’round the world, more details have emerged regarding the failed screening the middleweight top contender produced for his UFC 117 fight against reigning champion Anderson Silva.
Here is what California State Athletic Commission executive officer George Dodd clarified with the LA Times late Sunday night:
* Sherdog.com’s original report claimed Sonnen failed a POST-UFC 117 drug test. However, Dodd told Lance Pugmire of the Times that Sonnen registered a positive read on the exam he submitted BEFORE his fight inside Oracle Arena in Oakland.
* Dodd said Sonnen’s urinalysis results were generated by the UCLA Olympic drug-testing lab, one of the leading research institutions in the field of athletic doping.
* Sonnen tested positive for a “natural steroid.”
Based off what the rumor mill has been regurgitating, Sonnen’s defense will be that he took some over-the-counter medicine to help him recover from a “stomach bug” that floored him on fight week. While it has been reported that some OTC products can trigger a positive result for drugs-of-abuse, Dodd specifically told Sherdog and MMAJunkie that Sonnen passed that screening, but failed the performance-enhancer exam.
Chael emerged as the company’s golden boy after his nearly flawless performance last month against the middleweight king. His witty one-liners and charismatic mic skills solidified his spot as one of the sport’s more famous athletes, however his popularity – as well as his top contender status – is currently being reevaluated.
Sonnen will have 30 days to appeal his suspension and $2,500 fine. If he quietly accepts his punishment, he’ll face up to a year-long ban.