“We Have The Same Drug Guy” | MMA Analyst Chael Sonnen Accuses LeBron James Of Blood Doping

ESPN MMA analyst Chael Sonnen was a recent guest on “The Flagrant Podcast” and made some serious accusations against Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James. Sonnen claims that Bron blood dopes with Erythropoietin (EPO) and that’s the reason he’s able to still play elite basketball 20 seasons in.

“If the world understood what LeBron did, like other basketball players will hear what LeBron does and go, ‘Oh, but that doesn’t matter.’ If you knew what these performance enhancers did, then you would know why it does matter,” said Sonnen on the “Flagrant” podcast.

“We have the same drug guy, I know exactly what he’s doing. EPO matters, it’s the reason LeBron takes it. It matters. EPO increases your red blood cells, which gives you endurance so you can play all game long. You can shoot in the fourth quarter just like you shot in the first quarter. It is the king of performance enhancers.”

What Is EPO?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, EPO is is a hormone that your kidneys naturally make to stimulate the production of red blood cells. There is a synthetic form that medical professionals provide to patients with chronic kidney disease.

The synthetic version has been abused by athletes like Lance Armstrong.

EPO allows athletes to boost their performance because it increases the availability of oxygen to the muscles. More oxygenated muscles produce peak results over a longer period of time.

When your body runs out of oxygen, or your other systems can’t deliver oxygen to your muscles quickly enough, your muscles convert the available glucose into lactic acid instead. This is when your performance weakens and you begin to feel fatigued during an intense workout or at the end of a workout.

Not only do oxygenated muscles perform better, they also recover faster. Important when you have to repeat efforts, four times in six days.

Athletes trade on their bodies it’s not unreasonable to question what they would do to ensure that their primary means of earning is always in optimal condition.

The Human Body Wasn’t Designed To Do What Pro Sports Asks

Despite what most fans think, the rigors these athletes put their bodies through aren’t normal. Bodies were not designed to do the things athletes push them to do over and over again.

Bron reportedly spends over $1 million annually on his body. It’s reasonable to wonder where does all that money go. And that’s the reported amount. A curious mind might ask, what don’t we know about?

The NBA and NBPA (players union) have a level of drug testing agreed upon through the CBA.

NBA players are tested four times at random every season. There is no warning as to when these tests are coming.

The league has a list of banned substances, anabolic steroids, diuretics, peptide hormones, masking agents and other PEDs. But the league has been cited by the World Anti Doping Agency for gaps in its testing, specifically around blood doping.

Who Is Chael Sonnen?

Sonnen could very well be right, but here’s the problem. He’s not a reliable narrator.

He has beef with Bron that goes all the way back to 2012. In an interview with Bleacher report in 2013, Sonnen talked about his beef with Bron.

“Let me tell you a story about LeBron. He asked the UFC for tickets for my fight against Anderson Silva. We sit the guy front row, and all through the night he snubs our fans. He’s a guest in our house and he refuses to sign any autographs or take any pictures unless your cup size was later in the alphabet than he was able to learn. 

“And from what I understand, he thinks the letter purple comes after “C.” This guy walked up to my fiancee backstage and asks her if there’s a Tic Tac in her blouse or if she was just happy to see him. 

“I had a UFC employee tell me he saw a mother wheel her handicapped child up to him to get a picture. LeBron was walking towards them. When he reached the kid, the mother stopped the wheelchair. LeBron took the wheelchair, wheeled it out of the way and kept walking. 

“I’d like to slap the divots right off his face.”

Do we think this story is true? Sonnen sounds a little off kilter in this interview.

True or not, Sonnen himself failed random drug tests on two separate occasions for human growth hormone, EPO, anastrozole and clomiphene. So maybe he has his own ax to grind.

It’s more than reasonable to ask about the presence of doping in the NBA and suspect that there are players that do it. Sonnen is just the wrong guy to do it.


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