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Chael Sonnen handed two-year suspension for failed drug tests, no monetary penalty

Retired UFC competitor Chael Sonnen was handed a two-year suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and has committed to helping educate the commission and fighters on the "adverse effects" of PEDs.

Jared Wickerham

Chael Sonnen officially been handed a two-year suspension for his two consecutive positive drug tests.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission found that Sonnen was guilty of the claims brought against him in the complaints and recommended the motion that the former UFC title challenger be handed a two-year suspension, as well as be forced to handle the costs of the testing. Sonnen was also required to agree to the condition that he would not fight in any other jurisdiction during that time, as well as to work with the commission to "publicize the adverse effects of performance enhancing drugs".

Chael was not handed a monetary penalty for his actions.

Sonnen initially failed a random drug test in February for the Clomiphene and Anastrozole. When the results were released, Sonnen proclaimed that he required the banned substances to help kick start his natural testosterone production after going off Testosterone Replacement Therapy. This time around, he tested positive for Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO). Both the drugs in question clearly fall under performance enhancing drugs.

The decision on Sonnen was the final item in the "new business" portion of the agenda, and his lawyer opened up the proceedings by stating that Chael admit to all the facts in the original and amended complaint against him. He also introduced new exhibits to evidence, which included termination contracts with FOX and the UFC and some prescriptions for the prohibited drugs.

While Sonnen had no additional comments to add ahead of the proceedings, his lawyer stated, "The substances were obtained through valid prescriptions, which is to assure the commission that Mr. Sonnen obtained the prescriptions legally. He admits that he has violated the rules and is here to accept the repercussions. He has taken responsibility and is ready to accept the consequences."

Sonnen's lawyer insisted that he was by no means attempting to shroud the violations in excuses.  Sonnen, who was uncharacteristically tentative and selective with his wording, assured the commission that he was not looking to protect himself from the foreseeable outcome.

"I am guilty. I am ashamed, and I have no intention to put up a defense."

After asking Sonnen whether he had any suggestions to offer the commission that would help them improve upon the drug testing process, commissioner Pat Lundvall asked whether Sonnen would be interested in working with the NSAC for a short period of time to find weaknesses in the system and assist in the process of educating the fighters.

The commission went on to discuss each performance enhancing drug that Sonnen tested positive for in detail before going into deliberation to discuss the potential verdict.

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