UFC Fight Night 26: Chael Sonnen TRT exemption 'accepted,' claims he 'never broke a rule anywhere'


The Massachusetts State Athletic Commission (MSAC) granted the self-proclaimed "biggest draw, highest paid" fighter in mixed martial arts (MMA) today, Chael Sonnen, with a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), paving the way for his main event fight against Shogun Rua at UFC Fight Night 26 next month (Aug. 17, 2013).

Chael Sonnen doesn't plan to follow in the TRT-less footsteps of his good friend, and fellow aging fighter, Dan Henderson.

Sonnen is approved to compete against Mauricio Rua in the main event of UFC Fight Night 26, which takes place at TD Garden in Boston, Mass., on Aug. 17, 2013. And the former two-time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight No. 1 contender and one-time Light Heavyweight title challenger can do it with the help of Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT).

Sonnen recently informed Boston.com that Massachusetts State Athletic Commission (MSAC) "accepted" his Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE), which he has claimed in the past is required for a medical condition known as hypogonadism. It's unclear, however, if Sonnen will have to submit to additional testing -- and requirements -- like he did before and after his losing performances at UFC 148 and UFC 159 (more here and here).

Even if he isn't rest assured that UFC President Dana White will "test the shit out of him."

Sonnen, 36, had a major TRT-related issue in the past, getting suspended by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) for six months back in Aug. 2010 for improperly disclosing his use prior to his first bout against Anderson Silva at UFC 117.

It is apparently still a sore spot for the "American Gangster:"

"I never broke a rule anywhere. In California, they said that your T to E ratio [testosterone to epitestosterone] was high. Well it was! I was on testosterone. That gap is your ratio. All that tells you is what they already knew, that I was on testosterone. They didn’t understand their own test. They go, 'No, your levels are way too high, you're 17 to 1.' It’s like, guys, I could be 1,700 to 1, I’m still within the legal limit. You don’t understand your own test. So they give me six months [suspension] instead of a year. The referee that night is now in prison and that executive director is back home in Washington state and has been fired. But, these are the guys that I’m working with. This is what you get when you deal with government."

Alistair Overeem -- who famously failed a surprise drug test by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) because of a T/E ratio of 14:1 (details here) -- would probably disagree with Sonnen's definition of a "legal limit." In fact, NSAC allows a T/E ratio of 6:1 even though the average adult male produces a 1:1 ratio.

He also failed to mention the testimony he entered back in 2010 that included a conversation he never had with NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer, as well as the felony money laundering conviction in Oregon that was hanging over his head at the time.

Regardless, if Sonnen -- who is currently riding a back-to-back losing streak and even flirted with retirement before the fight with Rua -- has proven anything over time it is that he is not an average adult male.

For better or worse, whether fight fans -- or fellow fighters (and even trainers) -- like it or not.

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