The Nevada State Athletic Commission today handed down a two-year suspension and other punishments to now-retired UFC fighter Chael Sonnen following a pair of failed UFC 175 drug tests.
At a hearing today in Las Vegas, Sonnen (28-14-1 MMA, 7-6 UFC) admitted his guilt and said he agreed with the commission’s punishment, which also includes paying the cost and analysis of the drug tests that ensnared him, agreeing not to fight in any other jurisdiction for his two-year term, and acting as an educator to both the commission and fellow fighters on the issue of performance-enhancing drugs.
The commission voted unanimously after a short deliberation on Sonnen’s case. Although the fighter could’ve been forced to pay $250,000, commissioners opted against a monetary fine.
NSAC commissioner Anthony A. Marnell III, a former minor league baseball player, took a hard line on the issue, suggesting the fighter should receive a lifetime ban in the state. However, commissioners Raymond “Skip” Avansino and Pat Lundvall suggested a shorter term and countered that Sonnen should be used as a resource for stamping out future PED use.
“Today is the day for him to take responsibility for cheating,” NSAC chair Francisco Aguilar said. “It’s not a time to hide behind false excuses. I think a great penalty is warranted here for the sake of a clean sport.” Continue reading