An update at Sherdog.com indicates Chael Sonnen tested positive for a "Steroid Substance", but according to California State Athletic Commission Executive Officer George Dodd it doesn't appear to be a 'natural' steroid as The LA Times' Lance Pugmire suggested.
Dodd was unwilling to divulge what substance caused the result, pending further consultation with state doctors. He did state that he hopes to have a statement after the CSAC's lunch break later this afternoon.
"I have it but I haven't really reviewed it yet, it is a steroid substance," said Dodd.
Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times quoted Dodd as saying that the test came back positive due to the presence of a "natural steroid." The commission chief contradicted the report.
"No," said the Executive Officer. "I don't believe it is a natural steroid."
What also sticks out reading the Sherdog article - and perhaps it's just the way author Greg Savage worded it - is this:
Dodd also informed Sherdog.com that the UFC, via vice-president Marc Ratner, was informed that an unnamed fighter was flagged for a positive test Saturday morning. He said Ratner confided that they were already aware of Sonnen's impending suspension.
Does this mean the UFC were expecting this to happen? How would they have known outside either a leak in Sonnen's camp, or Sonnen himself?
With a rumour of flu medication causing a false positive, as suggested by Nate Marquardt on Twitter, could we be seeing a similar instance to that of 'Baby Fedor' Kirill Sidelnikov testing positive for steroids and a claim of a nasal spray being the culprit? Although, that was just M1's official statement on the matter.
Maybe not. Josh Gross of SI.com has an update reporting Sonnen informed Dodd of a possible positive:
Sonnen, 33, of West Lind, Ore., was apparently concerned enough about the possibility that he would render a positive test that he told CSAC executive director George Dodd he used an illegal performance enhancing drug leading up to the biggest fight of his life.
"He only indicated that he was taking it but he never indicated why," Dodd said of a conversation he and Sonnen shared during drug testing conducted by the state a day prior to the fight.
Sonnen "just let me know he was taking [something] and that's when I called over an inspector to get it documented. But when you do take it you still have to show a medical reason."
Though Sonnen mentioned using an illegal substance, the veteran mixed martial artist failed to note it on a pre-fight questionnaire with commission doctors or provide documentation about the use of testosterone in a medical context, according to Dodd.
This is already becoming the most bizarre case of an MMA fighter testing positive that I can recall. Although a fighter nicknamed 'Bigfoot' testing positive for animal steroids is up there.
I've got a feeling this story has only just got started.