Steroids in MMA
Which MMA Fighter Will Test Positive For Steroids Next?

So Wait, Is It OK or Not OK for Chael Sonnen to Shoot Himself Up With Testosterone?

("What, the pink shirt? I need to wear it for undisclosed medical reasons." PicProps: FightNightNews)

As expected, there’s a ton of fallout today from Thursday’s California State Athletic Commission hearing, which saw Chael Sonnen’s year-long suspension for a failed UFC 117 drug test cut in half. Reactions range from pious outrage that Sonnen got let off the hook to excitement that MMA’s best trash talker will be back in the cage sooner than expected to amusement that he had to spend at least part of the hearing publicly talking about his balls. 

A lot of it was very boring and a lot of it was very strange. Sonnen referencing his late-teen puberty and citing the Americans with Disabilities Act as part of his defense were both admittedly pretty weird. All that aside, your feelings on this case probably boil down to whether or not you believe Sonnen has a legitimate, albeit sort of nebulous medical condition that requires the regular injection of testosterone. If you don’t, if you believe Sonnen, his attorneys and his doctor perpetrated a large scale fraud in front of the CSAC, God and everybody online yesterday, you’re probably pretty pissed right now. If you do believe him, then you likely think the commission’s ruling was the appropriate one. 

Honestly, our personal opinions about what happened at the meeting seem kind of beside the point right now. In my view, the thing I’m really still waiting for someone to explain is this: After his suspension is up, will Sonnen be allowed to keep fighting while receiving the same testosterone replacement therapy, so long as he does the proper paperwork next time? If so, then what are we really talking about here? A technicality? An administrative error? Sonnen got confused about to how many doctors and how many times he had to disclose his medical condition? Wow that seems, uh, dull.

Assuming that the commissions are cool with Sonnen competing while continuing to mainline the man juice on regular basis then it appears (at least in the eyes of the law) his positive test wasn’t the result of a malicious attempt to gain an unfair advantage against Anderson Silva. Sure, by failing to dot all the “Is” on his prefight medical forms, Sonnen broke the rules and it feels like he was punished appropriately for it. It also feels like in reducing his suspension the CSAC tacitly admitted they don’t think Sonnen was trying to cheat.

Obviously, a lot of people are going to forever think of Sonnen as a con artist and a steroid abuser. Part of that is due to his public persona leading up to the Silva fight and part of it is because that’s just what happens any time a fighter’s name and the words “failed drug test” wind up in the same sentence. Additionally, Sonnen may be in some hot water with the bigger, more important Nevada State Athletic Commission after making claims about a conversation with director Keith Kizer that Kizer says never happened. In light of that, it doesn’t seem totally out of the question that a more thorough investigation of all this “testosterone replacement therapy” stuff could be forthcoming.

For now, we’re left to assume that as long as Sonnen clears it with whatever state entity is overseeing his fights, that he can compete while using synthetic testosterone under the supervision of his doctor. And that kind of makes all this seem like a lot of hype over nothing.


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onebaldegg- December 4, 2010 at 12:37 am
you are an idiot! there is nothing to stop anybody from from asking for TRT, in fact there are lots of men that use it! he isn't taking "steroids", he has a deficiency in testosterone. a very common thing as you get older. pretty sure you wouldn't run your mouth like you do if the guy were standing in front of you. i could just hear you saying the line about his manhood, all the while your mouth filled with Sonnen's.
frndlylion- December 3, 2010 at 7:29 pm
Chael's testosterone levels are so low, he started getting blood transfusions from cris cyborg.

Chael Sonnen's testies are so small, they had to use the Hubble Space Telescope to give him an exam.

thats all I got.
danomite- December 3, 2010 at 6:54 pm
I was the one earlier who said that Sonnen did all that stuff without TRT because from the summary it sounded like it had been a problem his whole life. But then MRuss had to go and burst my hate bubble by telling me that he didn't get diagnosed with low-T until 2008.

I still don't think athletes who participate in a sport that doesn't allow use of testosterone supplements should be allowed to use them just because they naturally fall below a certain threshold and they have a doctor's note. It makes it too easy for a fighter to A) find a shady doctor who will give them a prescription even if they don't need one and B) abuse it even if they do actually have low-T. I don't think the doctors give you is some special kind of testosterone that doesn't give you all the beneficial side-effects that illegal steroids give you. I'm pretty sure it's the same stuff. And what about guys who have naturally low testosterone levels but aren't quite low enough to be diagnosed with low-T. Suppose he can't get a prescription for testosterone but his opponent was low enough naturally to get a prescription. Now the one guy's testosterone is on the low end of normal and the guy with the prescription, even if he didn't abuse it, is on the high end of normal. That's an unfair advantage.
DazedNConfused- December 3, 2010 at 5:31 pm
I do. Why not? We didn't know about Sonnens use until this came up, or else no one would've known. If this becomes legal what's stopping people coming up when they're hitting the age and asking for TE therapy? Not down with it.

Pisses me off the guys bashing others for doing steroids and such, while he's secretly doing the same thing because his nuts aren't producing the right amount of manhood. What a fuckin' loser.
ccman- December 3, 2010 at 3:15 pm
Sonnens balls are so small quarks are made of THEM
Koeikan- December 3, 2010 at 3:13 pm
What excuse are you referring to? Gonads that don't work? Somehow I don't see people lining up to claim that one.

And *his* T/E ratios are normal (or likely below normal). If you watched the session online, the testing he got flagged on determined his levels were abnormal... but that's due to the synthetic hormones that were in his system. One of the guys on the commission even said that they weren't sure his levels were elevated, but that the results were flagged as being "abnormal" and that he didn't see if there was anything to indicate Sonnen's levels should have even been flagged at all, had he done the proper paperwork in the first place instead of verbally informing Dodd.
DazedNConfused- December 3, 2010 at 3:07 pm
I don't think it's right. This will just be a cop out for many other fighters to start using this excuse.

I believe if you use this therapy, your testy levels should be back up to normal, not 4x the amount or whatever it was. That just sounds sketchy, and like he was over-using. You would think the doctors would tell you to use just enough to retain normal levels in your system. That's the only problem I have with it.
Koeikan- December 3, 2010 at 2:47 pm
Personally, I have a big issue with fighters using PEDs. Barnett went from one of my favorite fighters in MMA to one of my least favorite, just because of the way he has failed to take responsibility for his actions... and just the way he handled it in general.

However, of all the people that have gotten caught, I have the least amount of malice towards Sonnen... and he was never a favorite of mine to begin with.

From what I can tell, Sonnen didn't do a good job of disclosing it... but he didn't exactly just hide it either. I also believe his natural T/E ratios are low (common for people who wrestle and cut weight from a young age... malfunctioning balls aside).

There are certainly some shady aspects to the overall picture (his crazy doctor, the ADA defense, his lack of disclosure originally, the fact that no one on the commission really seemed informed about... well, anything, etc)

That being said, as long as his T/E levels are monitored going forward and are kept at a normal level I'm fine with moving on with all of this (IE: suspension sounds fair, he should be forced to meet certain criteria going forward, and it shouldn't impact his UFC career further). That's certainly not something I would have said when I first heard he had been popped for elevated testosterone levels.
k-onda- December 3, 2010 at 2:27 pm
There's a real easy way to solve this. Next fight, make him go in dry, nuthin added. If old "micro-nut McGee" returns and he gets whooped, we have our answer.
Now to the real question: does the supplementary testosterone affect his crazyman prefight raving? Because that shit I don't wanna go without.
KarmaAteMyCat- December 3, 2010 at 2:16 pm
I wont be reading everyone's responses because I have to go to the gym in roughly an hour and I need to eat before hand so. I just want to say I am completely okay with the reasoning for his use of this option through medical supervision. It's a documented disorder he has so that makes it more then fair. Also note that my only ONLY fucking grudge is how he talked down to several Athletes *COUGH* Lance Armstrong... about shit that has never been proven. Yet he got caught using it for having shrivel dick syndrome.. oh well. I made my one tiny dick comment I'm done I wont do it again. Video coming soon. I have a Jujitsu tourny tomorrow wish me LUCK Nation and Kick boxing match in a week.
SumDumGuy- December 3, 2010 at 2:03 pm
hey. nicey. How do Sonnen's tiny balls taste?
WrenJoRo- December 3, 2010 at 12:39 pm
What bothers me the most is CSAC. They tried to take votes and they would fuck that up. A simple process from starting from the left and just moving hard is that. Very hard apparently. They had someone on the commission leave to catch a flight? Could a juror just leave to catch a flight in the middle of a trial? They have a person from the commission testify against Chael and then have him vote on the matter. They never knew what was going and were constantly unsure about things, such as how much time each person should get to argue and so on. They tried to rush people because they wanted to get home. Then they have a supposed Doctor on the commission who seems to think he knows everything and wants to try and show off the fact the hes a Doctor to the commission. CSAC is a joke.
nicey- December 3, 2010 at 12:22 pm
I really wish people would get all the facts before spouting off. Sonnen only started getting treatment in 2008 because up until then, HE COULD COMPETE JUST FINE. But starting a couple years ago he was feeling very weak and tiring very quickly. After a bunch of tests the Dr determined it to be a low natural testosterone level, and even if he was fine for the previous 10 years, he WAS'NT FINE NOW and needs a testosterone boost.

ALSO his testosterone is NOT 4 times higher than normal!!!! His testosterone is LOWER than normal. What is high is the amount of synthetic testosterone in his system, it's 4 times higher than the allowable limit. His overall testosterone level is NOT high, its actually still lower than most peoples.

macreadysshack- December 3, 2010 at 12:16 pm
BTW, I hate to burst people's bubbles but lots of MMA athletes are on Hormone Replacement Therapy but they disclose it properly and nobody ever hears about it. I know two pro fighters that are on it personally. Both have fought in UFC. They just disclosed properly.

You're always going to be able to find a crooked or stupid doctor that will prescribe you oxycontin, give you HRT, etc etc without proper investigation or proof. That's part of the problem (if you think it's a problem - I don't), the other issue is whether the athletic commissions should allow people on legitimate HRT (or any other banned substance - Karo wouldn't have been so fucked if he'd had a prescription for his pain killers and disclosed properly - Hey, Karo, FYI Pain killers are NOT good longterm antidepressants).

I am pro steroids in sports. I think they should be illegal and difficult to do, just like they are right now. I think that if an athlete is smart enough to figure it all out and get away with it, I don't mind if they are extremely dominant. I like watching these goddamned super-heros battle it out in there.
Fail Sonnen- December 3, 2010 at 12:10 pm
Sonnen's balls are so small, he can teabag a hamster.
macreadysshack- December 3, 2010 at 12:06 pm
I have to go with the perpetration of a huge scam. Somebody made the point awhile ago that Sonnen did amazingly well in wrestling and went on to compete for a whole career with hypogonadism? He has all the secondary sexual characteristics of an adult male and he had them before 2008. I'd love to see some highschool year book pictures, though, to check on his Adam's Apple/forehead/jaw, etc. Sounds like a cool investigative piece, CP.

An interesting point was also made earlier that got me thinking that athletes could trick docs into diagnosing them with low-T by doing a long cycle of short estered test until their HPTA system was completely shut down and then go in for a blood test after the drug has cleared but before the HPTA has recovered. Voilla, instant Low-T.

Or, maybe there should be a hermo division.
HardKnockLife- December 3, 2010 at 11:50 am
Small balls definitely explains his over-compensating big mouth...
Morningwood- December 3, 2010 at 11:40 am
@taco LOL!
mahlbawlz- December 3, 2010 at 11:37 am
so the solution to having low testosterone is going 4x above the normal levels?
Austin3210- December 3, 2010 at 11:35 am
Honestly, I couldn't care any less about this particular case after watching that debacle.

I'm more interested in how the CSAC functions on a daily basis. Seriously, they're pretty pathetic and unprofessional. I got pretty fed up with hearing the woman constantly complain about time, how people hadn't gotten their "breaks", how "everyone was getting tired", and how they didn't want to "be there until midnight." Basically, let's rush to get this done because we don't want to be here.

Another talking point that I'm extremely interested in is this. One of the chairmen on the panel was called as a witness for the prosecuting lawyer. After his testimony, this chairman get's to walk back up to his seat, sit down, and vote on the hearing. Conflict of interest much?
Fried Taco- December 3, 2010 at 11:34 am
Sonnen's balls are soooo small, mice use them to play golf.
Viva Hate- December 3, 2010 at 11:34 am
I am shocked, I always though Sonnen had balls the size of Hippity Hops with all the shit he says.
Morningwood- December 3, 2010 at 11:29 am
Sonnen's balls are soooo small, even Tomas Rios said no to a date!
Morningwood- December 3, 2010 at 11:28 am
Did I win the t-shirt yet, or should I keep going?
Morningwood- December 3, 2010 at 11:28 am
Sonen's balls are soooo small, he can't prevent a triangle choke!