Drug test reveals Sonnen positive for banned substance at UFC 117

September 19, 2010

MMA Junkie reports that UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen failed his post-fight drug test at UFC 117.

This news could derail Sonnen’s momentum and popularity after nearly defeating Anderson Silva in August and possibly jeopardizes his chances at a rematch in the near future.

The California State Athletic Commission Executive Officer George Dodd confirmed that Sonnen failed the test due to a banned performance-enhancer.

Via MMA Junkie:

According to the report, Dodd did not state which banned substance was detected in the failed screen. An official announcement is likely to come in the next few days.

Sonnen is likely to face a long layoff either in the form of a suspension or if he plans to appeal the findings.

On the heels of an epic trash-talking campaign that generated significant interest in their Aug. 7 bout at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., Sonnen dominated Silva for more than four rounds in the UFC 117 pay-per-view headliner. However, with fewer this two minutes remaining in the fight, a grounded Silva secured a triangle choke and forced a tap-out for the shocking come-from-behind victory.

Payout Perspective:

Unlike Shane Carwin, it is hard to fathom Sonnen not addressing the failed drug test. Sonnen could deny wrongdoing as he did when he claimed Lance Armstrong gave himself cancer because he used performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Sonnen then said he never made those comments on the Jim Rome Show even after Rome replayed the audio. It is ironic that Sonnen faces his own questions about PEDs.

The UFC has a problem on its hands as two of its main event fighters from its July and August PPVs have been linked to steroids. Granted, Carwin’s situation occurred before his days in the UFC, but it still raises issues of credibility. Sonnen’s outspoken opinion and the ability to articulate points intelligently was an asset to hyping his fight with Silva. He could have been a future asset in representing and promoting the UFC in general.

Sonnen’s career blossomed as he drew great interest for his brash, trash-talking leading up to his fight with Anderson Silva. A rematch was thought to be on the horizon for early 2011. Even when not competing, Sonnen was an attraction for UFC fans. At this past UFC Fight Night, Sonnen held court at a UFC Q&A (via Bloody Elbow).

It will be interesting to see what type of PR strategy the UFC and Sonnen use in addressing this issue.

11 Responses to “Drug test reveals Sonnen positive for banned substance at UFC 117”

  1. mmaguru on September 19th, 2010 5:00 PM

    Sherdog actually broke the news, not MMAJunkie. UFC dodged a bullet twice in 2 months, with Carwin now Chael. If either had the belt and the news got out it would have been major PR mode for the UFC.

  2. mmaguru on September 19th, 2010 5:01 PM

    Jason, I’m not inferring that you are stating MMAJunkie broke the news, I’m just pointing out some additional information on the story. Peace.

  3. Jason Cruz on September 19th, 2010 5:09 PM

    No worries. You are correct that Sherdog broke the news. MMA Junkie states this in its report in the linked item.

  4. Jose Mendoza on September 19th, 2010 8:09 PM


    Interesting quotes here from Yahoo:


    “That will mean no lucrative championship rematch with Silva in January or February, which in and of itself will cost Sonnen hundreds of thousands of dollars. When you add in the fine and the loss of a fight, plus what likely will be a drop in endorsement income, it will probably wind up costing Sonnen in excess of $1 million.”

  5. sss on September 19th, 2010 8:55 PM

    ive said it before and ill say it again….as hallman and shamrock said—-65 % of mma fighters at the very least is using banned substance….come on the superhuman physiques of mma fighters are just imposible to achieve naturally…its all about the hype—BUNCH OF AGGRESSIVE FIGHTERS beating the crap out of each other INSIDE A CAGE lol…..lol without banned substance mma fighters would be hesitant in engaging and be lackluster
    just like mark kerr of the early ufc—SMASHINg machine at first then after he got sick he returned not buff anymore and the aggression gone with it—AND NOw fights like a scardy cat lol….same with brock…that huge forehead and freak forearms its GH not need to test it….bunch of wanna be tough guys this sport…disgusting

  6. MMA Trainer on September 20th, 2010 12:35 AM

    I can’t wait to see what Chael has to say about the result. It seems Dana might have his back though.

  7. Jose Mendoza on September 20th, 2010 1:00 AM



    LA Times’ @latimespugmire : Chael Sonnen tested positive for “Natural Steroids”, faces 1 year suspension, has 30 days to appeal #MMA #UFC

  8. sal on September 21st, 2010 12:24 AM

    Nobody comments that much on Chael testing positive because he’s white….lets not be hypocrites…they were chanting usa usa during the fight when Chael was fighting the best pound for pound fighter….dont hear that when yao ming plays in the NBA….they want Chael to win badly because he is what the ufc fans want ….white and american…matt hughes.chuck lidell,brock lesnar,chael,roy nelson forest griffin(who sold tons of books and who.s reallly not good)gsp–CANADIAN good enough….lol

  9. Machiel Van on September 21st, 2010 8:08 AM


  10. mmaguru on September 21st, 2010 7:17 PM

    Chael and Co. are now claiming they are going to appeal the results.

  11. Jason Cruz on September 21st, 2010 10:47 PM

    Yes, it will be interesting to see how the appeal will play out. I am sure Sonnen will go on a campaign so that he will not have to serve the suspension or pay the fine.

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