Finally, Word From the Sonnen Camp On The PED Debacle

Neil Melanson, the man who trained Chael Sonnen and brought him to the brink of defeating the iconic Brazilian and arguably the great mixed martial artist of his time, Anderson Silva, has a few things he’d like to get straight with the fans and the California State Athletic Commission.

Melanson’s pointed observation that most of the positive tests for PEDs in MMA usually occur in California backs up his fighter’s statement that he did not use drugs.

Melanson, the jujitsu instructor at Extreme Couture in Las Vegas, works with Randy Couture, Karo Parisyan, Gray Maynard, Todd Duffee, Goran Reljic, Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort. He spent seven years in the Navy and five years as a Special Agent for the Federal Air Marshals.

For his part, Silva was careful with his comments about Sonnen after the fight.

“I didn’t notice anything during the fight,” Silva said. “I couldn’t tell he was on something. It’s sad for the sport, I think it was an unsportsmanlike attitude. But the commissions will take care of this and I hope this serves as an example to other athletes as well.”

So it goes…

9 COMMENTS
  • Guthookd says:

    Dang, I wish I could watcht his vid while at work here. It’ll have to wait. Anyone want to paraphrase for me? lol

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  • Dufresne says:

    So because California gets more athletes busted means there’s something up with their testing? Maybe it’s because California is a huge state that has a lot of events with numerous organizations which increases the number of tests and therefore the number of busts. Or maybe it’s because California does a more thorough job than other states, I don’t know. Using the fact that more people get busted in one state as evidence that your guy is innocent is stupid.

    More people are murdered in NYC than in Rock, IL. But then again there’s also over 8 million more people in NYC than in Rock, so the chances of someone getting killed are higher. And I’ve yet to see any DA use the “more people get killed here than in City X, so that means my client is innocent” defense.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 7

  • Hohlraum says:

    If I was a professional athlete and was being regularly tested for PEDs I’d sure as hell be getting tested constantly to make sure I wasn’t taking something that could affect my career. Seems simple.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  • Rece Rock says:

    INTERVIEWER: “You trained Chael Sonnen before his Anderson Silva fight. Were you surprised when you found out that he popped positive for performance-enhancing drugs?”

    NEIL MELANSON: “I was really surprised but um… you know, it seems like everybody that gets caught with something gets caught in California and even Sean Sherk got busted in California and he took a lie detector test to try to clear his name and he passed a lie detector test and, you know, so now he’s under, you know, what, did he really do it? Did he beat the lie detector test? I think Chael’s kind of in that spot where, you know, I just texted Chael quick just to say, hey man, whatever happens, you know, you still have friends out there and he said that this was basically B.S. and now he’s got to spend his time, you know, clearing his name instead of fighting but he doesn’t strike me as the type but you don’t know but he’s… he’s a real hard-working guy. I don’t know what he need, I mean unless he… I know he did have a broken foot during that camp, so he trained that whole camp with a broken foot but the guy’s an animal, he’s not a crybaby. So unless he took something or he thought he got something cleared maybe and it wasn’t cleared, I don’t… they haven’t really come out with what it is was as far as I know, if it was a steroid….”

    INTERVIEWER: “High levels of testosterone they said.”

    NEIL MELANSON: “Oh really? Well, I guess depending on the levels if it was pretty high than maybe he did take something and…”

    INTERVIEWER: “Chael Sonnen is a very hard-working fighter. We saw that performance, he never stopped working in that fight. He also didn’t stop working when he was smack talking the entire time, hyping up the event. Do you think that maybe when you’re hyping up a fight that much you put too much pressure on yourself and that could be a reason why he popped positive?”

    NEIL MELANSON: “I don’t know if he felt a lot of pressure. I know that he wanted to win and maybe he, I thought he was trying to get in Anderson’s head and make Anderson emotional by trying to make it sound like it was personal and going after him and trying to break him a little bit. So… I thought it was just a tactic but I guess he’s been kind of doing it on everybody so it’s kind of become more a spectacle and a comedy show but, you know, I don’t really… when people talk like that, you can’t really read into it because they’re just having fun, I don’t think they’re really trying to make a statement or anything, he’s just trying to entertain.”

    INTERVIEWER: “When I found out about the positive test, it worried me because people already ask me how legitimate this sport is. Do you think that something like this can damage the reputation?”

    NEIL MELANSON: “I don’t think this is as damaging as others think. I think, you know, all athletes, you know, in all sports, there’s always some athletes get caught with some type of drug so I mean performance-enhancing, it’s a very physically demanding sport. I think the thing that can hurt the sport is that the fact that anybody can do it, so there’s times where people are fighting that… they don’t mean to try to hurt the sport but it’s like… I never played football in my life but if I just started to train football one day you think I’d be able to get in the NFL? Not in a million years, but some of these guys that play football all of a sudden they just want to fight and they train for a year and next thing you know they’re in the cage or even less and it kind of makes it look like anybody can do it and because anybody can walk in there. I think is that that’s bad for the sport because people see ‘oh this guy is a big athlete or he’s a stud and he’s out there’ and the fight is ugly and they think, wow, this is what MMA is and then you end up watching really good fighters and you see, wow, this is a lot different and unfortunately sometimes the technical, the good fighters… they get a lot of attention, which is a good thing, but these other guys that have no ability but they have the name or whatever, they get a lot of attention.”

    INTERVIEWER: “I understand that, but Chael Sonnen is a very high-profile fighter and so when he pops positive, does that damage the reputation of MMA?”

    NEIL MELANSON: “I don’t think it does. I really don’t.”

    INTERVIEWER: “A lot of MMA media figures, including Josh Gross, have been saying that there should be zero tolerance from fight promoters, that once a fighter pops positive, cut him. But Dana White himself disagrees and says that the year-suspension and a year of not being able to earn an income and just the personal damage it does to their own reputation is punishment enough. How do you feel?”

    NEIL MELANSON: “I agree with Dana White, you know, it’s… You know… If you want to know how to run a successful promotion or a successful business, ask people that run successful promotions and businesses. Dana White is successful at what he does. I think when he forces an opinion about something, especially like that, then you should take that into consideration because he’s obviously making a ton of money and he’s basically… the Godfather to the sport at this point and, uh, you know, a lot of these columnists and I’m not disrespecting, you know, Josh Gross, if that’s his name because it’s good to have other opinions and other thoughts, but I think it’s good to have that devil advocate and that media that kind of brings up that other side but the reality is, you know, talking about people… that’s like saying you hate fat people because you’re skinny you’re whole life and then, you know, you don’t realize what it’s like to be hard to be fat and it’s not easy to lose weight. You’re judging something that you have no experience or really no knowledge. These guys that get popped for steroids maybe once in their career, maybe it was the one time they screwed up and they deserve a second chance because maybe they did it because they’re injured or whatever it was and they shouldn’t be demonized for the rest of their life and be forced to give it up. To me, that’s very unfair. I mean… it’s ridiculous, I mean… Nick Diaz got busted for being high on marijuana, should he be completely demonized as a fighter when he’s putting on great performances? He’s one of my favorite fighters to watch, you know, to me it’s like if he wants to do something, who’s he hurting? It’s like, yeah he should be clean the day of the fight, OK, fine, suspend him but don’t tell me he’s got to go find another job, you know, a whole another career. I think that’s ridiculous.”

    Well-Done. Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  • moosebaby02 says:

    fuck Race.
    i guess i should of scrolled down first before watched a 7 min interview that took me 30 mins cause everyone kept walking into my office.
    nice work and thumbs up

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  • Dufresne says:

    Thanks Reece, very appreciated.

    From not actually watching the video and just reading Reece’s transcript of it, I have to say that Melanson seemed to be dodging questions and then almost saying that he thought Chael did something.
    I don’t know what he need, I mean unless he… I know he did have a broken foot during that camp… So unless he took something or he thought he got something cleared maybe and it wasn’t cleared, I don’t… they haven’t really come out with what it is was as far as I know, if it was a steroid….

    And then Well, I guess depending on the levels if it was pretty high than maybe he did take something and…”

    And just the rest of the conversation seems like he was either distracted, nervous, or hiding something. Maybe a combination of all three.

    Gotta love the brown nosing he did in there too.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  • Guthookd says:

    Thank you Rece. You rock.

    So, would you all say we can sum it up in these few words: Neil Melanson does not know one way or the other if C. Sonnen took roids.

    Pheeewww. That was easy.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  • MCM says:

    Does anyone else have a GIANT picture of Neil Melanson on the front page or is just my web browser?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  • qat says:

    well i like the new style, but i dont know why neil melanson should be the first one to get the big picture, isnt there a pic of him with sonnen?
    whatever, as guthookd said, we dont really know more than before.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

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