UFC Middleweight contender Chael Sonnen has received a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) after a hearing in Las Vegas. Sonnen is scheduled to fight champion Anderson Silva for the title at UFC 148 on July 7 in Las Vegas.
Sonnen will be required to comply with all testing requirements imposed by the NSAC before and after that bout, including extra testing.
Sonnen infamously failed a post-fight urine test after his last bout with Silva at UFC 117 in August, 2010. He told the Calfornia State Athletic Commission that he was using TRT under a doctor's supervision and even stated that he had been cleared to use TRT in Nevada. The CSAC reduced Sonnen's suspension in response to Sonnen's and his doctor's testimony.
NSAC executive director Keith Kizer disputed that account and the CSAC responded by re-instituting Sonnen's suspension. They appeared to intend to suspend Sonnen indefinitely at that time, but a few weeks later they ruled that their own rules only allowed them to issue the original one year's suspension. Since then Sonnen has been licensed to fight in Texas and Illinois.
The hearing opened with the NSAC's advising physician Dr. Timothy Trainor, a board certified specialist in Sports Medicine sharing his opinion on Sonnen's diagnosis.
Summary of the hearing highlights after the jump...
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Key take-aways from Trainor's phone testimony:
- Believes Sonnen's initial diagnosis was incorrect;
- Sonnen's hypogonadism is secondary rather than primary. Trainor says Sonnen's doctor botched the initial diagnosis but Trainor says that he believes Sonnen has a legitimate problem;
- Recommends that Sonnen be tested the morning after his next fight to ensure that he does not have an elevated testosterone level during the fight;
- Concerned that Sonnen is missing doses and not following his doctor's orders properly.
Sonnen then addressed the NSAC. Key points:
- Sonnen first started taking TRT before WEC 33 in Nevada in 2008;
- Tells the NSAC that his prior manager (Matt Lindland) had told him to not report his TRT use;
- Sonnen tells Commission he had no qualms about filling out paperwork incorrectly;
- Sonnen insists that he believed his former manager was informing the NSAC about his TRT use;
- Sonnen swore under oath that he had never taken an anabolic steroid;
- Sonnen's attorney tells the NSAC that Sonnen's use of TRT was fully disclosed in Illinois.
Keith Kizer then took the microphone to list a number of entities that Sonnen had lied to about his TRT use, including Kizer himself and the CSAC.
Another Commission member took the microphone and described Sonnen as "honest."
NSAC chairman Skip Avansino asked Sonnen if he would be willing to help in an "advisory capacity" with TRT issues. Sonnen agreed.