It looks like the cat’s out of the bag. Chael Sonnen’s appeal hearing for his positive drug test following UFC 117 is rapidly approaching and information regarding his defense is finally starting to leak. In an update earlier this month, Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer/F4WOnline hinted that Sonnen’s defense would center around a medical prescription for testosterone.
Chael Sonnen’s hearing before the California State Athletic Commission regarding testing positive for testosterone is scheduled for 12/2 in Sacramento. Josh Barnett will also be applying to get licensed on that date. The talk was Sonnen would argue based on being medically prescribed testosterone due to a low level in his system. The issue would be whether or not he informed the commission ahead of time, because in cases like that, at least in Nevada, you have to ask for an exemption well in advance, have the commission doctors and your doctors talk and get it approved, and you still can’t have a higher than normal level in your system when being tested which requires additional lab work. Those type of exemptions being approved are rare.
Well, CagesideSeats.com did a little digging and found more detailed information regarding Sonnen’s defense on the F4WOnline subscribers-only message board. According to UFC.com writer Oliver Copp, Sonnen is on hormone replacement therapy and is expected to use that as his defense at his hearing on Dec. 2 with the CSAC. The argument is that Sonnen was undergoing this same treatment when he fought Yushin Okami at UFC 104 in Los Angeles, and the CSAC approved it then. Since HRT is a permanent, on-going treatment, Sonnen didn’t think he needed to go through the whole approval process again with the CSAC. What Sonnen didn’t realize though was that there’s a new regime at the CSAC that’s focused on running a tighter ship than before. In Mr. Copp’s opinion, the only thing Sonnen was guilty of was assuming it wouldn’t be a problem instead of jumping through all the hoops again to get it approved.
On the surface that seems like a pretty plausible defense, but it’s not one without a major hole it seems. You see Sonnen fought Nate Marquardt in Las Vegas in between the Yushin Okami and Anderson Silva fights. Once again, since HRT is an on-going process Sonnen would have still been undergoing the treatment at that time (in theory at least), and thus would have needed to get it approved by the NSAC. However, the NSAC’s Keith Kizer told CagesideSeats.com that Sonnen didn’t even apply for it at UFC 109, let alone get approved. Perhaps there’s a reasonable explanation, but at the moment that appears to be just one of the questions Sonnen will have to come up with an answer for on Dec. 2.
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