MMA's Chael Sonnen retires in wake of failed drug tests

Veteran fighter Chael Sonnen announced his retirement. (USATSI)
Just one day after a failed drug test, 17-year veteran Chael Sonnen announced that he was retiring from mixed martial arts.

Sonnen, 37, made the announcement on “UFC Tonight” late Wednesday only a day after testing positive for two substances both on the World Anti-Doping Agency banned substance list. The failed tests forced UFC to pull Sonnen from his scheduled July 5 match against Vitor Belfort in UFC 175.

Sonnen (28-14-1) competed as a middleweight and light heavyweight and spent the past five years fighting in the UFC.

The two substances – anastrozole and clomiphene – are classified as anti-estrogenic, and Sonnen claimed that he took them for medical and fertility reasons. He had previously been approved for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), but when that was banned, he began taking the latter two in order to avoid any side effects. He said will continue to do so even after his retirement.

“I want to stay within the rules,” he said. “I have to put my health first and my family first. If I know what I know now that [these substances] are going to work, get my wife pregnant, let me have a family, I will do the exact same thing 20 times.”

“If it puts me out of compliance 20 more times, then let’s stop. I will remove myself. There is going to be a day when I don’t have the title of a fighter. That was always going to happen. I never want there to be a day when I don’t have the title of parent, father and husband.” 

Sonnen, a three-time UFC title contender, is perhaps best known for his uncanny pre-fight trash talk and his high-stakes rivalry with former 185-pound champion Anderson Silva. 

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