FanPost

Father vs. Fighter: The Chael Sonnen Debacle

There has been much ado lately, but not about nothing. The obvious mess that is UFC 175 is only getting more convoluted and contradictory. However when it comes to this latest fiasco, I do believe I will give the former title challenger the benefit of the doubt. Love him or hate him (as you almost surely do one or the other, there is very little gray area when it comes to Chael) Sonnen did his duty and submitted to the random out-of-competition drug test. Unlike Mr. Silva, who claimed 'DontSpeakEnglish-itis" when he was approached for his. When Sonnen got tested, it wasn't on the day of competition. Not only that, he tested positive for non-anabolics, which were in his system solely because he chose to abide by the new ban on his formerly approved TRT regimen. Yet he still failed, and most likely lost a good chunk of the income he was relying on to support himself and his wife-not to mention the one on the way.

There is one common theme to all of these fighters failing drug tests-confusion. Whats the difference when it comes to banned substances v.s illegal substances? Which state has what drugs on their banned list? How about their illegal list? Are there exceptions to these rules? Why are things allowed in one state but not the next when working for the same organization?

Yes, it is the competitors responsibility to know what they are putting in their bodies and to know that those substances are allowed to be in their bodies. But should someone really be forced to chose between their kids, and their career by their employer? Should my boss be able to tell me that I cant take fertility drugs on my days off because it might affect my performance on my workdays? Even if my drug levels are totally clean while at work, can I be told what I can or cannot take when I'm not at work, even if the sole purpose of taking the drugs is to start a family?

Obviously, I'm exaggerating a little bit here for dramatic effect. But the point stands. Chael has a documented history of hypogonadism, which has a direct effect on fertility. TRT is a documented treatment for hypogonadism. Chael Sonnen wants to have kids. Chael was then told that his TRT treatment would mean an end to his UFC career, as the substance is now banned. Initially thinking of retiring (re: choosing family over career) he decided to continue his competitive career on a different treatment, one that now has caused him to fail an out-of-competition drug test.

Should fighters be tested on game day? Yes. Should there be very cut and dry rules for what is/is no allowed, what is banned/illegal, and the differences between the two? Yes. Should there be exemptions to every rule? Should one have to chose between their career and their kids? Chael did the right thing by continuing a treatment that would allow him to be a father. All careers end, fatherhood does not. Should drugs, prescribed by a doctor, for a pre-existing condition, to a man who wants to start a family, prevent that same man from competing in a professional sport?

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