It's official; however, Sonnen will file an appeal and is expected to plead his case on Dec. 2 in Sacramento.
From the California State Athletic Commission's (CSAC) official press release:
The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) has suspended the license of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Chael Sonnen, after Sonnen tested positive for steroids, a banned substance.
A sample from Sonnen's August 6 drug test came back with a high T/E (testosterone-to-estrogen) level, which is indicative of anabolic steroid use. CSAC learned of the results September 2 and ordered a second test, which also came back positive for steroid use. CSAC received test results from the second sample on September 14 and suspended Sonnen two days later. He is suspended for one year. Sonnen has 30 days to appeal the decision.
"The use of anabolic steroids and other banned substances are not tolerated by the commission," said CSAC Executive Officer George Dodd . "Anabolic agents put the health and safety of both the user and his opponents at risk." Sonnen's test was observed in the presence of a CSAC representative and the sample was sent to the World Anti-doping Agency test facility at the University of California , Los Angeles on August 6, 2010 for processing.
Sonnen, the little contender that could, may miss out on his second shot at UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva in early 2011 if his suspension is upheld.
News broke back on Sept. 19 that the mouthy ex-politician was popped for Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED's) in a test administered prior to last month's UFC 117: "Silva vs. Sonnen" title fight at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
Sonnen's pre-fight drug test, obtained from a urine sample that was processed through the UCLA Olympic drug-testing lab, returned a positive result for steroids and could land the trash-talking Realtor a $2,500 fine in addition to his lengthy suspension.
As the CSAC indicated, his second test also returned positive for steroids.
Sonnen is expected to appear on Thursday night's edition of ESPN's "MMA Live," but I wouldn't expect any new information to be revealed while his appeal is pending.
In the meantime, Vitor Belfort may have benefited the most from this mess now that he's been pulled from his Nov. 13 showdown with Yushin Okami.
Could a title fight with "The Spider" be in his near future?
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more on this breaking story as it develops.