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CSAC Suspends Chael Sonnen for One Year

Four days after California state athletic commission executive officer George Dodd broke the news that UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen had failed his UFC 117 drug test, the commission has finally released an official statement on their findings.

The statement is below.
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 anaboloic 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.

MMA Fighting contacted the CSAC with follow-up questions regarding the exact findings on Sonnen's testosterone-to-estrogen level, but a commission representative declined to immediately answer, saying the commission was still waiting to get confirmation from their lawyers about releasing that more specific information.

According to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), a T/E ratio of greater than 4-to-1 indicates steroid use. CSAC testing is done through the UCLA Olympic Analytical Lab, a WADA-accredited facility.

Meanwhile, Sonnen's manager Mike Roberts confirmed to MMA Fighting yesterday that Sonnen will appeal the findings. Sonnen is expected to make his first public statements about the issue on Thursday's edition of ESPN's MMA Live.