Early today the MMA world was rocked by the news that the UFC’s middleweight No.1 contender Chael Sonnen had tested positive for performance enhancing drugs following his title fight with current champion Anderson Silva in August at UFC 117.
So far Sonnen has not offered his side of the story, but ironically he had already given his thoughts on athletes using PED’s prior to the title fight.
“Lance Armstrong did a number of things and he gave himself cancer,” Sonnen had said in an interview with Pro MMA Radio just days prior to the bout. “He cheated, he did drugs, and he gave himself cancer. Well, instead of saying ‘Hey listen, I cheated and gave myself cancer, don’t be like me,’ he actually made himself the victim and then went out and profited something like $15 million from this ‘Hey, poor me, let’s find a cure for cancer’ campaign instead of just coming clean and saying, ‘Look, here’s what I did, I screwed myself up, and I hope people learn from my mistakes.
“You just watch these guys and can’t help but think, God, what a fraud. You got the whole Michael Phelps being a pothead thing too. I’m just glad I’m in the business I’m in so I can get them in the cage and kick the crap out of them.”
The outspoken comments about Armstrong, who has always denied he used steroids, caused a significant amount of mainstream media attention prior to the fight.
Despite his advice that athletes should own up when they make mistakes Sonnen handled the growing backlash in somewhat curious fashion, denying that he had said it even when confronted with audio of the conversation on The Jim Rome Show, saying, “Sounds like a guy with a Hispanic accent to me.”
Months earlier Sonnen had made a similar denial when finding himself in hot water with the media after some controversial and border-line racist remarks were leveled at his opponent Anderson Silva from what was believed to be Sonnen’s twitter account.
Again Sonnen denied that the account was his, even although footage was quickly discovered of the fighter confirming that was his account in an interview earlier in the year.
At the time some found his flat-out denials amusing, saying that it was all part of Sonnen’s efforts to hype the fight and that you had to take what he was saying with a pinch of salt.
Unfortunately for Sonnen the way he handled those situations may now come back to haunt him as it will call into question his credibility if he attempts to protest his innocence following the new revelations about his positive drugs test.