Chael Sonnen explains the USADA whereabouts violation
Yair Rodriguez faced a six-month USADA ban in December of last year and it was not drug-related. What caught Rodriguez out was a whereabouts violation, one which has caught out the likes of Nick Diaz in the past.
Chael Sonnen explained what had happened in Rodriguez’s case.
“Rodriguez, who had been removed from competition for, how long was it? Two years? You remember when he got that whereabouts violation.
“Do you know what that means when you read that? He ends up in hot water with USADA, who administers drug tests but he did not test positive for a drug. The problem was he didn’t test at all.”
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) November 11, 2021
“When you have a whereabouts violation with USADA, you must let USADA know where you are 24/7 365 so USADA will know where to show up to find you on any given day. If you were not where you said you would be, that is where the whereabouts violation comes in.”
Sonnen’s USADA knowledge
Sonnen is a figure that many fighters can look to when it comes to USADA issues.
Kevin Lee, for example, came to him after his medication was flagged and stuck him with a ban. Sonnen does in this case say that USADA is particularly understanding due to the nature of constantly providing your whereabouts.
“Now, there’s clerical errors, particularly in the life of a fighter.
“A fighter says he’s going to be at the gym, fighter’s meant to be at the gym, he gets called at the last minute, he’s got to get an aeroplane, he’s got to get to a photo shoot over here, something along these lines.
“USADA’s extremely understanding, just get online, fill that out. If we go to the gym but you filled out that you’re going to be on an aeroplane instead, then you’re never going to hear about it. If you do three of those within one calendar year.”
— IFL Fighting (@IFLfighting) August 24, 2017
Exceed the three, however and you can find yourself in serious trouble.
“You get three misses but much like baseball, on your third swing, you’re out. It’s an automatic fail and that’s a particularly hard one when you have someone like Yair Rodriguez who’s the cleanest guy in the whole sport.”
While the nature of Nick Diaz’s case never played out in the public eye, Sonnen suspects that he knows what happened behind the scenes.
“Nick Diaz was in violation of USADA for whereabouts and Nick came out and said, ‘I’m retired.’
“Now this never played out in front of public view and I’ve always wondered what happened there but I do believe that was arbitrative.
“I have no idea but I believe. I believe that was actually arbitration and fought and Nick won because a retirement is quite literally coming out and saying, ‘I’m retired.’
“If you want to unretire, you can come out and go, I’m unretired… You just have to say it and Nick used in his defence, ‘I’m retired, go look at the media, go look at my Twitter, I’ve said the word and he did, he did say he was retired.”
Part 2 of Nick Diaz’s USADA situation pic.twitter.com/k9PsWiYMh4
— Michael Hutchinson (@TheMikeyHutch) August 15, 2016