(Creepy pale guy is thinking how great he would look in a jumpsuit made from Chael’s skin.)
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.
In other words, Sonnen got caught in a political crossfire. If he’s guilty of anything, he’s guilty of being a dumbass and assuming, instead of going through the process. I will cut him some slack for being down with the flu leading up to the fight, with his main priority being getting better so he can get through the week and the fight.
A lot of guys who have cut weight from an early age develop testosterone deficiency. The exact mechanism isn’t fully understood yet but dehydrating your body badly and rehydrating over an extended period of time increases the chances of doing damage to your endocrine system by as much as 5,000 percent.
After taking your hit, your levels are all over the place for an hour or two until they settle in a normal region. If they tested Sonnen during that time, his levels will have been WAY high."
And here’s Meltzer’s two cents:
"The problem is if you look at photos of Sonnen from fight to fight, you notice far bigger and more muscular for Marquardt & especially Silva as compared to all of his previous fights.
It’s possible he has legit reasons for it. However, I do recall when the subject came up in 2008 that he California commission said they had never approved of anyone using hormone replacement therapy and gave the indication they likely never would because of the ease for abuse. Obviously that’s pre Okami fight and the guy in charge of the commission changed to someone not nearly as much of a hardass on the drug issue.
But in OVW and WWE pre-Benoit, everyone was able to do that as a gimmick, get the prescriptions and it was a gimmick. Even after, when WWE cracked down, there were a few exemptions and the doctor in charge felt every single one was shady.
WWE now will not hire someone with that prescription, or allow any prescriptions for test, as company policy."
Copp then pointed a finger at Matt Hughes, accusing the former UFC welterweight champion as being guilty of possible unreported testosterone use:
"Look at Matt Hughes physically in the Serra fight and then the Gracie fight. Compare that to how he looked in the Almeida fight. Guess when he started going on HRT.
I think this is all somewhat murky water, and I sincerely feel that if Sonnen has ANY case, the Cali commission will want this to go away without much in the way of coverage."
We won’t have long to wait to hear what Sonnen’s defense will be. His CSAC hearing is set for December 2.