SAN ANTONIO – In the wake of news announcing another failed drug test for three-time title challenger Chael Sonnen, the UFC released a statement largely mirroring its previous responses to high-profile failures.
The industry-leading promotion deferred the matter to the state athletic commission which oversaw the test – in this case the Nevada State Athletic Commission – and said it would take its own measures to stamp out the use of banned substances.
“We were made aware that a second random test, conducted earlier this month, resulted in a positive test for additional banned substances,” said a statement read by Dave Sholler, the UFC’s Senior Director of Public Relations, at the post-event news conference for UFC Fight Night 44 in San Antonio. “Chael will have the opportunity to appear in front of the Nevada athletic commission next month, and through a statement released to media tonight, he’s pledged to cooperate.
“Our stance on the subject remains absolutely the same: We support the commission and we will continue to ensure that all UFC competitors compete on an even playing field, free of performance-enhancing drugs and banned substances.”
This past week, Sonnen was flagged for four banned substances – human growth hormone (HGH), recombinant human erythropoietin, anastrozole and human chorionic gonadotropin – in a second random drug test ordered by the NSAC for his scheduled fight with Vitor Belfort at UFC 175. Sonnen came up positive for another pair of banned substances, anastrozole and human chorionic gonadotropin, in his first test conducted in late May.
Following the first failure, Sonnen was yanked from the July 5 pay-per-view event and Belfort, who replaced original opponent Wanderlei Silva after the ex-PRIDE champ evaded a random test, was scratched altogether from the card.
In a statement to MMAFighting, which first reported the test failure, Sonnen said the NSAC was aware of “other prescribed medications” he was taking and pledged cooperation with the commission. Next month, the NSAC will address his case during a hearing.
“I will cooperate with the Commission and look forward to having a dialogue about how fighters who transition off TRT can avoid violating any rules,” Sonnen wrote in the statement.
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