CSAC Upholds Sonnen’s Indefinite Suspension

By: Mike Whitman and Todd Martin
May 18, 2011
LOS ANGELES -- The California State Athletic Commission on Wednesday upheld Chael Sonnen’s indefinite suspension by a vote of 4-1, denying the middleweight’s appeal to reinstate his license to fight in the state.

The hearing -- which, according to CSAC head George Dodd, was requested by Sonnen after the fighter was informed of his suspension in late April -- was held at 9:30 a.m. PT in the Ronald Reagan State Office Building in Los Angeles. The lone dissenter in the commission’s vote was commissioner Anthony Thompson.

Sonnen was first suspended by the CSAC after a positive test for elevated testosterone levels following his unsuccessful title bid at UFC 117 in August. The fighter appealed the ruling in December, telling the commission that he was medically prescribed testosterone injections to treat his hypogonadism. The middleweight also asserted that he had previously disclosed his treatment to Nevada State Athletic Commission head Keith Kizer as a part of the state’s “therapeutic use” exemption program. Following Sonnen’s testimony, the CSAC voted to shorten his suspension from one year to six months.

However, following the appeal, Kizer denied Sonnen’s account, stating that he never had such a conversation with Sonnen and that the fighter was not a part of the state’s exemption program. Sonnen later amended his statement, asserting that it had actually been his management who had spoken with Kizer regarding Sonnen’s testosterone injections.

In light of this contradiction, Sonnen’s indefinite suspension was handed down by the CSAC several weeks ago. Dodd previously told Sherdog.com that this recent suspension came in response to Sonnen’s previous testimony, as well as his recent felony conviction in Oregon on one count of money laundering in relation to mortgage fraud. According to Dodd, the commission was concerned that Sonnen’s previous testimony might have unfairly affected the commission’s vote to reduce his one-year suspension to six months.

Sonnen’s last appearance in the cage came in his aforementioned failed title bid in August. After putting together four dominant rounds, the Team Quest representative was caught in an Anderson Silva triangle choke and was forced to tap out in the fifth and final round. The fighter was supposed to return to the Octagon in March to take on Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 128, but his UFC contract was effectively “frozen” in light of his legal issues by UFC president Dana White.

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