Sometimes when an athletes natural testosterone levels are lower than average, a doctor will prescribe testosterone to bring it back up to normal levels. Recent reports by UFC writer Oliver Copp reported that Sonnen will be bringing a prescription to court in Sacramento on December 2nd to challenge the California State Athletic Commissions one year suspension. The problem with that argument though is the athlete must request approval by the commission by setting up talks with the fighters physician and commission well before the tests. The exemption has happened in the past for Sonnen, but this time Sonnen did NOT follow procedure and may receive a few month slap on the wrist for lack of action.
UFC.com Writer, Oliver Copp in a conversation with Steve Meltzer on Meltzer’s subscribers-only board explained much of what has been going on Sonnen.
It’ll probably be a slap-on-the-wrist suspension until, say, February. Then CSAC can claim a victory over Sonnen for failing to declare while Sonnen will be fine at the same time and can do Ultimate Fighter with Bisping or fight, whatever comes first.
These are the facts, as best I can ascertain.
– Sonnen is on Hormone Replacement Therapy.
– HRT is a “permanent therapy” and not something you do for three months and then are done with it.
– When he fought Okami in LA, Sonnen declared it, jumped through hoops and did the entire shebang.
– CSAC approved it.
– Sonnen came back to fight in Cali again and, since HRT is a permanent therapy and in his case had been approved by CSAC before, he didn’t think he’d have to jump through hoops AGAIN.
– Unbeknownst to him, CSAC had changed since his last fight in California and the new commission wanted to turn over a new leaf and be nothing like the commission of old.
In other words, Sonnen got caught in a political crossfire. If he’s guilty of anything, he’s guilty of being a dumbass and assuming, instead of going through the process. I will cut him some slack for being down with the flu leading up to the fight, with his main priority being getting better so he can get through the week and the fight.
A lot of guys who have cut weight from an early age develop testosterone deficiency. The exact mechanism isn’t fully understood yet but dehydrating your body badly and rehydrating over an extended period of time increases the chances of doing damage to your endocrine system by as much as 5,000 percent.
After taking your hit, your levels are all over the place for an hour or two until they settle in a normal region. If they tested Sonnen during that time, his levels will have been WAY high.
Meltzer replied with this:
The problem is if you look at photos of Sonnen from fight to fight, you notice far bigger and more muscular for Marquardt & especially Silva as compared to all of his previous fights.
It’s possible he has legit reasons for it. However, I do recall when the subject came up in 2008 that he California commission said they had never approved of anyone using hormone replacement therapy and gave the indication they likely never would because of the ease for abuse. Obviously that’s pre Okami fight and the guy in charge of the commission changed to someone not nearly as much of a hardass on the drug issue.
But in OVW and WWE pre-Benoit, everyone was able to do that as a gimmick, get the prescriptions and it was a gimmick. Even after, when WWE cracked down, there were a few exemptions and the doctor in charge felt every single one was shady.
WWE now will not hire someone with that prescription, or allow any prescriptions for test, as company policy.
To which Copp replied:
Look at Matt Hughes physically in the Serra fight and then the Gracie fight. Compare that to how he looked in the Almeida fight. Guess when he started going on HRT.
I think this is all somewhat murky water, and I sincerely feel that if Sonnen has ANY case, the Cali commission will want this to go away without much in the way of coverage.