Chael Sonnen has been removed from the UFC 175 card after testing positive for banned substances. The news adds to the soap-opera quality of a main-card bout that appears doomed.
The original plan pitted the light heavyweight against rival Wanderlei Silva. But Silva reportedly fled when Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) emissaries arrived at his gym to administer a random drug test. The Axe Murderer didn’t bother to apply for a fighting license in time, so the series of events forced him from the card and fulfilled Sonnen’s prophecy that Silva wouldn’t step into the Octagon with him.
Vitor Belfort replaced Silva, but now that Sonnen has tested positive for anti-estrogen and anti-breast cancer drugs that match will not go on as planned. Complicating the situation further, Silva, who has technically not been suspended, wants to step back onto the card and fight Belfort.
Making a complete farce of matters, Belfort confirmed news that he exhibited elevated levels of testosterone on a test this winter. “[M]y testosterone level was above the therapeutic range,” he told the NSAC regarding his testosterone-replacement therapy, which the NSAC banned earlier this year. “While levels slightly above the therapeutic range are not uncommon for some undergoing a TRT regimen, and my doctors immediately modified my therapy to return me to within the therapeutic range… I do want to acknowledge that the February 7, 2014 test indicated my level was above the range.” Belfort says he has nothing to hide.
Drug questions have dogged the careers of Sonnen, Silva, and Belfort. Their futures in the promotion remain uncertain.