OAKLAND CA - AUGUST 07: Chael Sonnen walks to his corner in between rounds of his fights against Anderson Silva during the UFC Middleweight Championship bout at Oracle Arena on August 7 2010 in Oakland California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
UFC President Dana White recently spoke to Heavy.com about TUF 14, GSP/Diaz, and the future of Strikeforce on Showtime. Toward the end of the interview, he was asked about the CSAC's decision in the Chael Sonnen hearing. Shockingly, White did not agree with the decision:
I'm pretty bummed out about the Chael Sonnen thing and the way that the whole thing was handled. I don't know if there's ever been a penalty laid down, I mean Tyson, I think when Tyson bit the ear, Tyson got a year. It's pretty crazy.
Listen, it's not that he'd have to retire, but right now was his opportunity. This kid had the opportunity to coach The Ultimate Fighter, he had the opportunity to get a big fight set up, should he win that fight. Everybody knows what happened with Anderson Silva, this was a key moment in this kid's career and me, personally, you've heard me say it for the last almost 11 years, we always support whatever the athletic commission says. This kid got it stuck to him, man. He paid his dues in every way shape and form and, I think he's been treated a bit unfairly.
(Transcript provided by Fight Opinon. Cleaned up by me.)
I think everyone can agree that the CSAC handled this situation poorly from the start. The commission should never have reduced his suspension in December, where Sonnen's case relied on hearsay (manager Matt Lindland's conversations, if we believe Chael's clarification, with Keith Kizer), missing paperwork (he failed to provide confirmation for testosterone replacement therapy at UFC 104), and Dr. Mark Czarnecki (who showed up to court chewing gum in his finest black t-shirt).
The controversy surrounding the decision has overshadowed a key fact: Sonnen has been taking testosterone since 2008 without permission from the commission. (And that overlooks the debate about whether commissions should allow TRT in the first place.) To put it bluntly, Chael Sonnen has being using steroids for three years, by his own admission, illegally.
So, it's hard for me to feel bad or feel like Chael ended up on the wrong end of a Cecil Peoples' card, and I say that as someone who believes the steroid hysteria needs to be put down Old Yeller style.