(Sonnen’s testimony was as good as his pre-UFC 117 soundbites were.)
Sonnen’s legal team gave evidence showing that Sonnen has been undergoing testosterone replacement therapy via twice weekly injections of a synthetic version of the hormone since 2008 under the care of his physician, who also testified to the same.
During testimony, Sonnen said that he had been embarrassed to disclose that he was suffering from hypogonadism, which is characterized by low testosterone levels due to malfunction of his testicles during a fighter’s meeting in which the participants of the card congregate to fill out necessary paperwork in the days prior to the bout. He also revealed that he did not reach puberty until early adulthood and that he did not care to relive the ridicule that he endured as a child because of it.
The Team Quest fighter explained under oath that he was also under the impression that he had gained clearance in 2009 from the CSAC when he alleges that his treating physician sent in proof of his condition and blood tests showing his depleted testosterone levels to the commission. Sonnen contended that received back the go-ahead from a physician he believed to be a representative of the governing body, who also was involved in his pre-fight medical examination. He admitted during the hearing that he later learned that the physician in question was actually employed by the UFC and that his misunderstanding compounded the confusion about his medical clearance.
Chael’s council contended that the Oregon native did not try to hide his use of testosterone as he listed it on his pre-drug screening form, but three of the four commissioners who voted (CSAC Executive Officer George Dodd who testified for the State did not vote and a second commissioner left the hearing early to catch a plane out of state) felt that by failing to disclose to the CSAC physician that administered his pre-fight medical exam, Sonnen knowingly broke the rules and thus only reduced his suspension in half, while maintaining his originally prescribed $2,500 fine.
As he has already served three months of his suspension, Sonnen will be eligible to return to action in just prior to UFC 128 in Abu Dhabi on March 19.
In other news from the meeting, multiple positive steroid tester, Josh Barnett‘s license reinstatement hearing was moved to the next commission meeting in February as the "Babyfaced Assassin" did not bring legal representation with him and was unprepared to present his case during today’s proceedings.
According to Barnett, he assumed that he would have to explain his side of things and that the commission would simply vote on whether or not to grant him a new license. CSAC protocol requires that a fighter suspended or denied licensure for drug infractions must prove that they have been rehabilitated, but since Barnett still claims he did not knowingly take any PEDs, he was confused about what his "rehabilitation" would have entailed.