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Chael Sonnen passes two out-of-competition drug tests ahead of Bellator 170

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Chael Sonnen (EL)
Chael Sonnen was drug tested by the California State Athletic Commission out of competition.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

“The Bad Guy” is in the clear for his Bellator debut, at least as of right now.

Chael Sonnen, who has a history of performance-enhancing drug use, passed two out-of-competition drug tests administered by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) ahead of Bellator 170, MMA Fighting confirmed with CSAC executive officer Andy Foster on Wednesday. MMAjunkie was the first to report the news Wednesday.

Sonnen will meet fellow MMA legend Tito Ortiz in the main event of the card Jan. 21 in Los Angeles. It will be the longtime UFC veteran’s Bellator debut.

Foster said Sonnen had to pass a drug test and submit it as a condition of licensure back in the fall since he was coming off a suspension for banned substances. CSAC then took a sample from Sonnen on Nov. 19, when Sonnen was in San Jose as a commentator for Bellator 165. That test was done with the full World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) menu, Foster said. Sonnen will likely be tested one more time before the fight as well, he added.

Sonnen, 39, has not fought since being suspended two years by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) in 2014 for testing positive for a host of PEDs, including HGH and EPO. In 2010, Sonnen also failed a drug test for elevated testosterone levels in California after his first fight with Anderson Silva.

The Oregon native was, at the time, a user of the then-legal testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), though he was not granted a necessary therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for the bout. Sonnen has been open and candid about his use of PEDs in the past.

Sonnen (29-14-1) passed four USADA out-of-competition tests in the third quarter of 2016 in anticipation of a potential return to the UFC. USADA runs the UFC’s anti-doping program. In a surprise, though, Sonnen signed with Bellator in October.

Ortiz will also be tested out of competition prior to Bellator 170, Foster said.