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NYSAC: Chael Sonnen, Wanderlei Silva drug-tested and cleared for Bellator NYC headliner



The New York State Athletic Commission has drug tested both Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva in advance of Saturday’s Bellator NYC, and the fighters are clear to compete.

NYSAC representative Laz Benitez confirmed the news, today issuing a one-sentence statement about the testing: “The (NYSAC) has completed out-of-competition testing for the Sonnen-Silva bout at (Bellator NYC) and looks forward to Saturday night.”

Bellator NYC, regulated by the NYSAC, takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York. The card airs live on pay-per-view following the Spike-televised and MMAjunkie-streamed Bellator 180 event at the same venue.

The NYSAC’s statement contains no details about the manner in which the fighters were tested or when they were tested. But the mere fact that testing took place indicates the commission is taking seriously the competitors’ histories with banned substances.

Sonnen (28-15-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) and Silva (35-12-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) were scheduled to fight three years ago at UFC 175, only to be scratched from the card when both ran afoul of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Silva evaded a drug test, later admitting to a banned diuretic in his system, and was given a three-year ban. Sonnen failed in- and out-of-competition tests for the fight, coming up positive for human growth hormone (HGH), recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO), and was suspended for two years.

Upon coming out of retirement to sign with Bellator this past year, Sonnen claimed he would compete within the rules and passed several drug tests in connection with his promotional debut earlier this year at Bellator 170.

Last month, MMAjunkie asked the NYSAC whether the commission or Bellator would test the fighters out of competition. Benitez wrote “the promoter has not provided any funding for out-of-competition testing, and the commission has not requested any funding for such.”

But one month later, after Bellator President Scott Coker told reporters that both fighters would be tested, Benitez wrote, “NYSAC has taken measures to ensure that both fighters undergo proper out-of-competition drug testing before the bout on June 24th.”

Silva returns to the cage for the first time in four years. He most recently fought Brian Stann at UFC on Fuel TV 8, winning by second-round knockout.

For more on Bellator NYC and Bellator 180, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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