Chael Sonnen fails drug test, pulled from fight at UFC 175

UPDATE: Just before the test results became public, Sonnen appeared on FOX Sports Radio with host Jay Mohr to explain his side of the story and how this all happened.

According to the former top ranked middleweight contender, he started taking the drugs after the Nevada commission banned testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), a treatment he had taken for several years to treat a disease known as hypogonadism.  As part of his plan to rebuild his body naturally after taking synthetic testosterone for so long, the anti-estrogen drugs were introduced to help him adapt.

"These are not secrets that I took these substances — this is what you have to take if you’re coming off testosterone.  At any rate, it was picked up on the test.  Now, they can handle it however they want. They can look at it and go ‘this makes sense to us’ or they can say ‘we don’t like this’.  They can do either one, they’re the commission," Sonnen explained.

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Chael Sonnen will not be competing at UFC 175 on July 5 after failing a random drug test administered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission last month while attending a UFC press conference in Las Vegas.

The commission confirmed to ESPN.com that Sonnen failed for two separate drugs in his system — Anastrozole and Clomiphene.

Both drugs are on the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) list of banned substances.  Anastrozole is listed as a ‘aromatose inhibitor’, which is a drug that reduces estrogen in the body and has been used with men to treat hypogonadism — the illness Sonnen has stated causes his low testosterone.  The other drug, Clomiphene is another anti-estrogen drug and has been used by men in the past to kickstart natural testosterone production in the body, but is illegal to use in sports.

Sonnen was previously being treated for low testosterone by using TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) but the treatment was banned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission recently, thus the former middleweight contender was no longer allowed to use synthetic testosterone injections leading to his fight at UFC 175.

Because of the positive drug test, Sonnen will no longer be allowed to fight at UFC 175 in July where he was expected to face Vitor Belfort on the main card.  Ironically enough, Belfort was scheduled to go in front of the commission next Tuesday, June 17 for a licensing hearing after he tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone during a random drug test administered in February.

With Sonnen’s positive test confirmed, the fight with Belfort has now been yanked from the card although it’s unknown if the Brazilian will still appear in front of the commission with the bout on July 5 now off the table. 

Following this latest test result, Sonnen will also likely face a suspension from the sport for the infraction. Sonnen has previously faced similar sanctions when he tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone following his fight against Anderson Silva in California in 2010.  Sonnen was suspended six months as a penalty, and has since had no issues with drug testing until now.

UFC officials could not comment on the test results at the time of publication, but Sonnen will address the testing directly when he appears on America’s Pregame on FOX Sports 1 at 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday.  FOX Sports will have further updates following Sonnen’s appearance and statement.