Sonnen appeal hearing before CSAC Thursday
December 2, 2010
Chael Sonnen will break his silence Thursday as he appeals the California State Athletic Commission ruling that he used a banned substance prior to his fight with Anderson Silva at UFC. 117. The CSAC fined Sonnen $2,500 and suspended his license for a year beginning Sept. 2, 2010.
A huge hurdle Sonnen will face is his response to why he used Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs). There is much debate as to whether he will be able to use the defense that he was using testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) but did not realize that he needed to seek an exempton prior to each fight. But, it seems that this theory will fall flat since Sonnen never requested an exemption for TRT . Prior to his fight with Nate Marquardt, he requested and received an exemption to take Soma/carisprodol, a muscle relaxer and an anti-acne medication.
The details of the hearing are here in this pdf. The information pertaining to Sonnen starts at page 31.
Sonnen’s paperwork for his pre-fight drug tests indicates that Sonnen took 1 shot of testosterone on August 5th. As you recall, the fight with Silva took place on August 7th. Sonnen’s urine sample was taken to the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory on August 10th for testing.
Sonnen will be represented by attorney Howard Jacobs. He is a specialist in the field of drug testing and has represented the likes of cyclist Floyd Landis, Olympian Marion Jones and MMA fighters Sean Sherk and Antonio Silva.
Zach Arnold of Fight Opinion provides us with food for thought:
What I think will be most interesting about Thursday’s meeting is not what the outcome of Chael Sonnen’s suspension will be but rather if the current debate on PED usage in MMA somehow gets advanced (if there are new defenses being used or new techniques revealed publicly that were once kept in the shadows). I have low expectations about Thursday’s appeals hearing, but if the hearings are going to serve any purpose then I think we may hear some explanations that could progress the media debate as to what is happening in the business for PED usage.
If Sonnen is the main event for Thursday’s hearing, Josh Barnett is the co-main event as he will appear before the CSAC seeking a reinstatement of his license. Barnett was signed by Strikeforce but has yet to fight for the organization.
With the debunking of the TRT defense, it will be interesting to see what theories Sonnen will have about his use of PEDs. The Fight Lawyer had some interesting back and forth on twitter regarding Sonnen’s admission to the CSAC that he used PEDs. One of the more interesting questions that I would like to see come out at the hearing is what was the reasoning for allowing Sonnen to fight even though it was known he would test positive for a banned substance?
We will have more on this after Sonnen’s hearing.