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Suspended UFC fighter Chael Sonnen tested positive for steroids, commission says [Update]

September 22, 2010 | 10:43 am

The California State Athletic Commission Wednesday released a statement (below) detailing its suspension of UFC middleweight title contender Chael Sonnen. The statement says Sonnen tested positive for steroids.

Sonnen is expected to appeal the suspension at a Dec. 2 hearing in Sacramento.

His absence spoils plans for a rematch with middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Sonnen dominated Silva for four rounds on Aug. 7 in Oakland, but was forced to submit when Silva tied him up in a chokehold.

The UFC pulled middleweight contender Vitor Belfort out a November card in Germany on Wednesday. UFC President Dana White said on his Twitter page later Wednesday morning that Belfort will fight Silva next. The bout will likely take place either on the UFC's New Year's card or Super Bowl weekend show in Las Vegas.

[Updated at 11:34 a.m.:The Silva-Belfort fight will be on the New Year's card in Las Vegas, UFC says.]

The commission's full statement concerning Sonnen:

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 anabolic 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.

-- Lance Pugmire

Photo: Chael Sonnen, top, during his loss to Anderson Silva in August. Credit: Jeff Chiu / Associated Press