According to the story, Sonnen has been undergoing hormone replacement therapy since before his fight with Yushin Okami, which he reported to and was given clearance to fight by the California State Athletic Commission prior to the the bout. Because it is a permanent treatment Sonnen allegedly assumed his doctor prescribed required testosterone treatment would be on file, and thus never re-reported it to the commission.
Testosterone levels can drop off for various reasons, including age, hereditary reasons or because of stress the endocrine system is due to a number of variables, not limited to repeated weight fluctuation and dehydration caused by weight cutting.
Here's what Meltzer had to say about the case in the latest edition of his Wrestling Observer newsletter:"Chael Sonnen's hearing before the California State Athletic Commission regarding testing positive for testosterone is scheduled for 12/2 in Sacramento. Josh Barnett will also be applying to get licensed on that date. The talk was Sonnen would argue based on being medically prescribed testosterone due to a low level in his system. The issue would be whether or not he informed the commission ahead of time, because in cases like that, at least in Nevada, you have to ask for an exemption well in advance, have the commission doctors and your doctors talk and get it approved, and you still can't have a higher than normal level in your system when being tested which requires additional lab work. Those type of exemptions being approved are rare."
CS dug a little further and came up with a conversation between Meltzer and UFC.com writer/German UFC commentator Oliver Copp on the F4WOnline messageboard
Here's what Copp had to say about the situation:
"It'll probably be a slap-on-the-wrist suspension until, say, February. Then CSAC can claim a victory over Sonnen for failing to declare while Sonnen will be fine at the same time and can do Ultimate Fighter with Bisping or fight, whatever comes first.
These are the facts, as best I can ascertain.
- Sonnen is on Hormone Replacement Therapy.
- HRT is a "permanent therapy" and not something you do for three months and then are done with it.
- When he fought Okami in LA, Sonnen declared it, jumped through hoops and did the entire shebang.
- CSAC approved it.
- Sonnen came back to fight in Cali again and, since HRT is a permanent therapy and in his case had been approved by CSAC before, he didn't think he'd have to jump through hoops AGAIN.
- Unbeknownst to him, CSAC had changed since his last fight in California and the new commission wanted to turn over a new leaf and be nothing like the commission of old.