In light of a second failed drug test [in the last month], this time for human growth hormone (HGH) and recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO), the UFC and FOX Sports have parted ways with Chael Sonnen.
UFC officials announced the termination of Sonnen's broadcasting agreement late Monday night, issuing the following statement:
"The UFC and FOX Sports organizations announced today the termination of their respective broadcasting services agreements with analyst Chael Sonnen. This decision comes in light of Sonnen failing a second test conducted by the Nevada Athletic Commission for banned substances in June. Sonnen was previously under temporary suspension by the Nevada Athletic Commission for failing an initial test conducted in May."
The announcement marks a surprising and unceremonious end to Sonnen's second tenure in the UFC.
A three-time title contender who nearly stole the middleweight championship away from Anderson Silva at the height of the Brazilian's powers in 2010, Sonnen (28-14-1) developed into one of the company's biggest pay-per-view draws on the strength of his loquacious promos and undeniable marketing savvy, coaching The Ultimate Fighter twice, serving as a lead analyst across several FOX entities, and headlining numerous UFC events, including the promotion's debut on FOX Sports 1.
Sonnen retired in mid-June after failing a random drug test administered by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) on May 24th in advance of his scheduled UFC 175 grudge match against fellow TUF Brazil 3 coach Wanderlei Silva. Sonnen initially tested positive for the banned substances anastrozole and clomiphene, which he attributed as necessary medication in order to help him transition off testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
The 37-year-old subsequently failed a second random drug test administered by the NAC on June 5th, testing positive for HGH, EPO, anastrozole, and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).
Sonnen's case is expected to be evaluated at the next NAC meeting, which is scheduled for July 23rd in Las Vegas, NV.
I remember ONTD talking about Lance Armstrong and blood doping -- and now probably one of the best known fighters got caught doing exactly that. I'm personally torn, because Sonnen is easily one of the most entertaining personalities from any sport, but I remember how much the MLB tarnished their name because of their reluctance to part ways with their 'roided golden boys.
For those playing the home game, Sonnen got caught in 2010 with an absurdly high testosterone level (T:E ratio of like 16:1 when a normal person is 1:1 and athletes are allowed up to 4:1). He got caught about a month ago with drugs usually used to cycle off steroids (he then announced his retirement). And then we found out that he majorly failed a test given a week after the previous one.