Chael Sonnen uses banned substances. We know this; it’s not a secret. It is because of this fact, and multiple failed drug tests, that he is no longer a fighter in the UFC. But to terminate the man’s contract as a host or broadcaster is a bit overboard.
When was the last time you ever looked a former player turned broadcaster and wondered if he was using steroids? Don’t worry, I will wait. The answer is never because we typically don’t care what average people do in their spare time as long as it is not hurting anyone else. Would anyone care if Chris Andersen, who was “permanently” banned from the NBA for violating the league’s substance abuse policy in 2006 before being reinstated two years later, went on to be a broadcaster after his career was over? No.
It is understandable that the UFC would want to distance themselves from Sonnen. The fact that he retired, which was surely a move made so he wouldn’t get fired, should be punishment enough. The man was at least a good two or three years away from the “twilight” of his career. Now he has openly stated he will not fight again.
The fact that Fox Sports terminated his contract as an announcer just seems ludicrous. He was a talented broadcaster and the fans still loved him even though he doped. He was opinionated, informative and had everything a fan wants in a commentator. Doping does not affect his job as a commentator.
Now I never condone using banned substances if you are an athlete. Cheating is cheating no matter what way you look at it. Once a player or fighter retires, though, it is doubtful that anyone cares what they do in their personal life as long as it doesn’t affect others.
Though Fox Sports may feel justified in their decision, it just seems a little harsh for something that could have been dealt with by a suspension.