Chael Sonnen Granted Therapeutic Use Exemption for TRT Prior to UFC 148 in Las Vegas


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Chael Sonnen was granted a therapeutic use exemption for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) by the Nevada Athletic Commission on Monday, clearing the way for his UFC 148 showdown with Anderson Silva in Las Vegas on July 7.

The exemption came with a few conditions, however. Sonnen must adhere to dosage restrictions as determined by NAC Executive Director Keith Kizer in the days leading up to the event, and the middleweight title challenger must also submit to a post-fight blood test at his expense the morning after UFC 148. Additionally, the commission has requested that Sonnen submit copies of his therapeutic exemption applications from Texas and Illinois for further review.

Sonnen was suspended for one year by the California State Athletic Commission following his loss to Silva at UFC 117 in August 2010, when a post-fight drug test revealed that Sonnen had elevated testosterone levels. The Oregonian returned to action last October, scoring a first-round submission over Brian Stann at UFC 136 in Houston. Most recently, he defeated Michael Bisping at UFC on Fox 2 on Jan. 28 in Chicago.

Sonnen said that he offered full disclosure regarding his treatment on the pre-fight paperwork prior to his last two bouts. Sonnen, who has been receiving testosterone twice a week since 2008, claims that he had not revealed his prescribed treatment before previous bouts because he was instructed not to mention the treatments by his manager through Kizer. Kizer has denied that any such conversations took place, and Sonnen confirmed on Monday that he had never spoken to Kizer directly.

“I was following the instruction I was given. I did follow the rules. I will not [do it] that way again,” Sonnen told the commission.

Dr. Timothy Trainor, the assisting physician at the hearing, said it was appropriate to grant Sonnen an exemption, but that the fighter needs to be “vigilant” in administering the dosage exactly as prescribed.

In addressing its protocol for granting therapeutic use exemptions, the commission acknowledged the likelihood that requests for TRT will increase, with Kizer referring to the treatment as “the new Viagara.” The commission was in agreement that an additional expert would be useful in assisting with future requests. Sonnen also said that he would be willing to help the commission in an advisory role regarding TRT.

UFC 148 takes place at MGM Grand Garden Arena and also features an interim bantamweight title tilt between Urijah Faber and Renan Barao. The Sonnen-Silva rematch was originally scheduled to take place at Joao Havelange Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on June 23, but a conflict with a United Nations summit forced the UFC to move the event to Las Vegas.

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