Chael Sonnen Retires Following Positive Drug Test

Published on June 12th, 2014 5:38 pm EST

Chael Sonnen, aka "The American Gangster", retired from active mixed martial arts competition on Wednesday.

Earlier in the week, Sonnen tested positive for two banned substances following a random drug test by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. This development threw Sonnen's planned UFC 175 bout against Vitor Belfort into serious doubt.

Sonnen took to the airwaves to explain the situation. Sonnen had been one of four UFC fighters to receive an exemption for TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy). Earlier in the year, the NSAC banned TRT. In order to transition off of TRT in a healthy manner, people are usually given Clomiphene and HCG. These are the two drugs that Sonnen tested positive for. Neither drug is a performance enhancer, but both are on the NSAC's listed of banned substances.

Sonnen promised to appeal the decision as he was "out of competition" and using those drugs to resume a normal life after taking himself off of TRT.


Sonnen, who is currently 37 years of age, apparently decided not to go through the appeal process and has instead elected to retire.

This is not a massive surprise - after all, Sonnen has had a long career as a mixed martial artist and is nearing the age of 40. In addition, he is far away from a shot at another title.

In addition, Sonnen is a popular figure on UFC broadcasts on Fox and Fox Sports 1. Sonnen likely has a long career ahead of him as a broadcaster which likely makes his decision to step away even easier. On top of all of that, Sonnen has presumably done very well for himself over the past couple of years - his rematch against Anderson Silva likely made "The American Gangster" millions of dollars.


Chael Sonnen was a highly polarizing figure in the UFC. Some people are sad to see him go, while others wanted to see him go much sooner.

In his retirement speech, Sonnen thanked Anderson "The Spider" Silva. Sonnen and Silva engaged in two memorable fights and their epic feud made the duo into two of the sport's biggest stars.

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