Mixed martial arts, UFC need to act on steroid problem
By now most MMA fans are aware of UFC middleweight fighter Chael Sonnen's positive test for a performance-enhancing drug following his UFC 117 loss to Anderson Silva.
Here’s a guy who has never seen a microphone he didn’t love. He has also become MMA's biggest trash-talker and king of the one-liners. Just before he received the news that he tested positive for steroids. Sonnen hosted a special Q&A session at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. Sonnen said, "Is Anderson here somewhere? I'll kick his [butt] from Austin all the way to San Antonio.”
And Silva was not the only fighter he verbally attacked. On his list were champions George St. Pierre (GSP) and Brock Lesnar.
'If GSP said he wanted to fight me, the first thing I would say is the same thing I say every time I hear GSP talk: 'Dang it that guy sounds like a French-Canadian Minnie Mouse,' " Sonnen said. " 'GSP, do you have a hankering for pain? GSP, did you lose a bet with God? GSP, bring your $3,000 suit, bring your $3 date and get the three-cent tan knocked off your socialist back.' If you see GSP, give him that message for me."
And as for UFC heavyweight champion Lesnar. Sonnen said, "If Brock Lesnar was here right now, I'd take my boot off and throw it at him, and he'd better polish it up before he brings it back to me," Sonnen said. "Talking about he's the baddest guy in the UFC? Brock, quit eating so many raw eggs and doing push-ups because it's affecting your realm of reality. Are you kidding me? I'd slap you in your face, and you wouldn't do anything.
" 'I'm Brock Lesnar. I've got this $5 haircut and a knife tattooed on my chest.' I'll shove it up your face if you get in Chael Sonnen's way."
But the line that struck a nerve with me is a comment directed at Silva. "I think [Silva] is a great fighter, but he's not as good as me," Sonnen said. "He's not as good as Yushin Okami, either. He's not the best guy in the world, and he never has been. He's a sham.”
Sonnen, are you kidding me? “He’s a sham.”
What’s the line? It takes one to know one.
Ever since the news has come out that he tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug, we have only read the customary statements that any manager would put out to the media.
Sonnen's manager, Mike Roberts, wrote that Sonnen will appeal the California State Athletic Commission's claim that he tested positive for "abnormally high" levels of testosterone and that Sonnen will break his silence on the matter in the coming days.
"It is our policy not to comment on pending actions by the Athletic Commission. Chael is consulting with his legal advisers and physicians and will have a statement in the near future. Chael will file and appeal with the CSAC and looks forward to working with the Commission to resolve this matter."
Here are two excuses Chael Sonnen could use:
*Look guys, I’m planning to become a professional baseball player. This being hit in the face, is for the birds.
*Look, I still have aspirations of become and politician, so I thought this would be the quickest way to get to Capitol Hill. Taking part in a Senate hearing on steroid uses.
Putting all kidding a side, you have to wonder if steroid use in MMA is a problem.
Chael Sonnen isn’t the first to test positive for a performance-enhancing drug. The list is a who’s who of MMA.
Two Hall-of-Famers in Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock. Four former champions in Tim Sylvia, Sean Sherk, Ricco Rodriguez, Josh Barmett and several current and former UFC fighters in Hermes Franca, Stephan Bonnar and Phil Baroni.
The Los Angeles Times has reported that Sonnen has in fact tested positive for steroids. A statement from the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC), stated that it has suspended Sonnen for a positive steroid test.
UFC President Dana White told Fanhouse.com, when asked the question from Ariel Helwani. Is there a PED (performance-enhancing drug) problem in MMA? White said, “You're always going to have problems, there’s always going to be problems. There’s going to be problems with alcohol and cigarettes and all these other things. You can’t control everything and everybody, you cant’ do it, it’s impossible. There’s a problem in sports in general with performance-enhancing drugs.”
What? Alcohol and cigarettes are not illegal. Steroids are illegal.
Until the owners of MMA companies come down hard on fighters. There will continue to be a problem. If they told fighters that testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs would get you banned for life, the problem would cease.
But for now, it’s a sham.