Chael Sonnen Granted Therapeutic Use Exemption; Clears Path to Fight at UFC 148

MMA Weekly
Chael Sonnen Not Talking His Way into a UFC Light Heavyweight Title Shot
Chael Sonnen Not Talking His Way into a UFC Light Heavyweight Title Shot

Chael Sonnen, following a couple contentious years with the athletic commission in California and Nevada, on Monday was granted a license and Therapeutic Use Exemption in Nevada for his July 7 bout against Anderson Silva at UFC 148.

Sonnen went before the Nevada Athletic Commission on Monday, providing testimony about his past failure to disclose his hypogonadism condition in Nevada and other states, pointing to his belief that it was unnecessary, as was relayed to him by his manager at the time, Matt Lindland. Sonnen is now represented by MMA Inc.’s Mike Roberts and Jeff Meyer.

“Male hypogonadism is a condition in which the body doesn't produce enough testosterone, the hormone that plays a key role in masculine growth and development during puberty,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

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Sonnen also provided testimony as to his treatment of the condition, which requires that he take two self-applied testosterone injections per week to maintain normal testosterone levels.

Nevada’s consulting research physician, Dr. Timothy Trainor, having reviewed Sonnen’s medical information regarding hypogonadism, also testified. Although he was critical of Sonnen’s doctor, it was Dr. Trainor’s opinion that Sonnen appeared to have a legitimate condition that required treatment. He recommended that Sonnen be granted a Therapeutic Use Exemption for his testosterone treatment, although he did offer conditions.

“If someone has a TUE exemption, they should be tested the morning after they fight to get what their serum levels are in case they take something right before fight,” said Trainor, explaining that taking an injection too close to the fight could conceivably become a performance enhancer.

He recommended that injections be stopped several days prior to the contest, and then resumed following the contest, and that a morning after the bout test be administered and required to return a result indicating normal testosterone levels. Such a test should be required of any participant granted a TUE exemption for testosterone treatment, in Dr. Trainor’s opinion.

The Nevada Athletic Commission voted unanimously to grant Sonnen a Therapeutic Use Exemption with conditions. Those conditions, as delegated by the commission’s executive director, Keith Kizer, are that there would be restrictions imposed on injections for a period of time prior to the event, and that Sonnen would be tested, at his expense, the morning after the fight, as prescribed by Kizer.

Sonnen must also provide the official paperwork from Illinois and Texas that prove that he revealed his condition to those states, as he testified, prior to his two most recent fights, which took place in those states.

If there are no discrepancies between his testimony and the paperwork filed with Texas and Illinois, Sonnen will move forward with his UFC 148 bout with Anderson Silva, under the conditions the commission set forth.

Follow @KenPishna on Twitter or e-mail Ken Pishna.
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