If you’re a fan of MMA and you can’t remember what you get paid to do at work anymore, you may have been watching or listening to the broadcast of Chael Sonnen’s hearing before the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
To sum things up, Chael admitted he was guilty, and the Commission wanted to rub it in a bit.
According to Assistant Attorney General Eccles, Chael used five drugs that were prohibited at all times. And he wasn’t sympathetic because Chael never actually fought while on the drugs. He cheated, he got caught, and a great penalty would be appropriate.
Chael’s attorney characterized the actions the Commission had already taken against his client as “severe.”
Three different doctors prescribed the drugs to Sonnen. But according to Chael, that isn’t unusual. He wasn’t physician-shopping. Nonetheless, Chael admitted he was guilty, he said he was ashamed, and he indicated that he was not prepared to offer any defense.
Now, it’s time for a lesson in pharmacology.
Two doctors testified about the drugs Chael was using. Dr. Trainor explained that Clomiphene can be used as a masking agent, to conceal performance-enhancing drugs. Moreover, it restores the body’s natural production of testosterone. Anastrozole is an anti-estrogen medication used to treat breast cancer. He called it a “drug to cheat.”
According to Trainor, HGH is used to enhance muscle mass, and EPO is typically used by cancer patients with low red blood cell counts. It increases the blood’s ability to contain oxygen, thereby increasing the user’s stamina. He speculated that Chael must have used HGH recently, because it is so difficult to test for.
Sonnen denied taking any other prohibited drugs, but he admitted he has taken Ambien. He complained that there is quite a bit of confusion about drug testing.
Assistant Attorney General Eccles was flabbergasted. He found it unbelievable that a man using needles didn’t know what was prohibited. He asked for a two-year suspension and a firm deadline by which Sonnen had to pay a fine.
Commissioner Lundvall acknowledged that Sonnen has already suffered quite a bit. For instance, he lost his jobs at the UFC and at Fox. He wondered why the Commission should be inclined to continue piling on. And he suggested a novel punishment: condemning Sonnen to work with the Commission to educate them about how fighters cheat.
They found him guilty. Sonnen agreed to abide by a 2-year suspension. He agreed not to fight in any other jurisdiction for that time (we don’t know about Metamoris), an concession that the Commission might not have had the authority to enforce. He was ordered to reimburse the NSAC for the costs of testing, he received no actual monetary penalties, and he was sentenced to work with the Commission.
So in the end, Chael scored a sweet new job.
Now that’s over, and the most interesting quote from the hearing, in my opinion, came from Chael.
When asked if he wanted to clear the air about any other hypothetical substances he had been taking, he answered, “I’ve always been a square. I have never tasted alcohol.”
Maybe that’s true, the part about the alcohol. And maybe the caption of this video is totally wrong, and training at Tenth Planet is just like totally, totally relaxing.