Chael Sonnen Announces Retirement

UFC light heavyweight Chael Sonnen who failed a random drug test from the Nevada State Athletic Commission has announced his retirement from competitive mixed martial arts on June 11, 2014.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) found Sonnen’s sample positive for two illegal substances, Anastrozole and Clomiphene.

Clomiphene is a female infertility drug and is used by athletes and bodybuilders to prevent estrogenic side effects (such as oily skin and gynecomastia) that are associated with the use of anabolic androgenic steroids. Anastrozole (Arimidex) is medically prescribed for treating breast cancer and is used for on-cycle support by athletes while using anabolic steroids.

Sonnen, who last competed in the Light Heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, expressed frustration with the recent rule changes by NSAC regarding Testosterone replacement therapy. Explaining his positive drug test, Chael Sonnen remarked there is a transition period while getting off from TRT and he couldn’t have been more open or more transparent. He added he used perfectly legal substances that are not performance enhancing drugs or anabolic steroids. Sonnen went on to remark that he used the drugs for preventing side effects from getting off Testosterone replacement therapy and also required them for fertility reasons. Sonnen remarked doctors prescribed him Anastrozole and Clomiphene with a hope of stimulating natural testosterone production after TRT was banned by the Nevada Athletic Commission in February.

Sonnen further remarked that his legitimate medical need for estrogen blockers would not allow him to stop taking them, leaving him with no option but to announce his retirement. He thanked his fans, team members, Fox Sports, UFC executives, and Nevada State Athletic Commission board member Bill Brady and also thanked former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, whom he challenged for the title in 2010 and 2012. Sonnen said he wants to thank the single most important opponent he ever had.

In 2009, Sonnen’s career took off after he mocked Silva in public events and media interviews. Sonnen was superior to Silva through four rounds of a title fight at UFC 117 in August 2010 before he submitted to a triangle choke in the final round. After this fight, Sonnen tested positive for an elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio for which he was fined $2,500 and suspended for one year (until September 2, 2011) by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) though his suspension was later reduced to six months. Sonnen then revealed a diagnosis of hypogonadism and being approved for TRT. A rematch against Anderson Silva remains the highest-grossing UFC event ever held in Las Vegas. It took place at UFC 148 in July 2012 and the event drew an attendance of 15,016 and a live gate of $7 million wherein Sonnen lost via TKO in the second round.

The three-time UFC title contender started his career in May 1997 and was pulled out by the UFC from a light heavyweight bout against Vitor Belfort, scheduled for July 5 in Las Vegas, because of the failed drug test. One of the biggest pay-per-view draws in the UFC, Sonnen (28-14-1), Sonnen hosted “UFC Tonight” with Kenny Florian and also acted as an analyst for UFC live events.

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