Chael Sonnen granted TRT use exemption by NSACPosted on May 21, 2012, 02:22 PM by Mike Drahota
Today Chael Sonnen appeared before the Nevada State Athletic Commission in a bid to gain a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for his well-documented use of TRT. His request was indeed granted, and it appears that his UFC 148 Middleweight title bout with Anderson Silva will go down with much less controversy than their previous encounter, in a sense. Of course Sonnen was suspended for six months following his UFC 117 loss after failing to inform the CSAC of his usage. This time, though, Sonnen is in the clear according to NSAC commissioner Keith Kizer, who stated the following:
"He's done his time. He’s come clean on his prior dishonesty, and that's all appreciated." - via MMAJunkie.com
Sonnen is not without supervision regarding TRT however, as he must pass a blood test the morning after the fight to stay with the commission's good graces. His T:E levels must stay within the 6:1 allowed regardless of his TRT therapy. The decision to allow Sonnen's TUE appeared to involve much deliberation on the part of the commission, who spent about 30 minutes reaching their final verdict.
Sonnen has admitted to using the therapy since 2008, via self amdministered injections. The commission was concerned that he and other athletes may use TRT as a means to replace Testosterone after their bodies have stopped producing it following steroid usage. Sonnen stated under oath that he has never used steroids. The commission even allowed Sonnen an advisory role in the ongoing discussion of TRT usage in MMA, a hotly discussed topic as of late.
Sonnen will be allowed to continue his TRT usage under regulation. Is this good or bad for the sport? Many may think a victory over Anderson Silva at UFC 148 could be tainted due to TRT. Does it place an asterisk over the head of fighters that use TRT and then win in high-profile bouts? Again, the debate over TRT, its legalities, and the fine line between it and PED usage will rage on further.