Chael Sonnen appeals drug test

October, 5, 2010
10/05/10
12:21
PM ET
Rossen By Jake Rossen
ESPN.com
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Chael SonnenMark J. Rebilas for ESPN.comChael Sonnen probably had an easier time with Anderson Silva than he will at an appeals hearing.

It's going to be very interesting to hear what Chael Sonnen has to say to refute allegations by the California State Athletic Commission that he was doped for an August fight with Anderson Silva. Sonnen has been granted a Dec. 2 hearing to address charges of elevated testosterone levels.

He could:

1. Argue that the levels were the result of a doctor-prescribed course to counteract low levels of testosterone -- but Sonnen did not disclose any medically approved treatment on his commission forms prior to the fight.

2. Argue that his levels were the result of contaminated supplements, the go-to Twinkie defense of accused steroids users everywhere. The problem is that Sonnen, whether it's in the fine print or not, has the responsibility of making sure anything he ingests is free of all substances that could mark him a cheater.

3. Argue that he was framed by his political opponents in Oregon.

4. Show up wearing an Easter Bunny outfit and hope for leniency based on the fact that he appears insane.

It's a hard hole to dig out of. Drug testing, while far from an exact science, has a fairly accurate barometer for measuring testosterone. The best a charged athlete can hope for is to cloud the issue by casting doubts about testing protocol or introducing variables such as supplements or prescription medication. Whatever the case, I sincerely hope the good people at C-SPAN think to broadcast this.

Jake Rossen is a contributor to ESPN.com. His byline has appeared in the New York Times, Wired.com, and numerous other outlets. He began covering mixed martial arts in 1998.
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