Shlemenko suspended 3 years and fined $10K by CSAC

June 24, 2015

Alexander Shlemenko was suspended three years and fined $10,000 by the California State Athletic Commission as it is the harshest penalty against an MMA fighter since it began regulating the sport.  In addition, Shlemenko’s win against Melvin Manhoef at Bellator 133 has been overturned.

The commission voted unanimously by a 7-0 vote in favor of the penalty.  Although Shlemenko’s attorney, Howard Jacobs, argued that there was a lack of a “B” sample and a possible violation for not splitting the urine sample.  The commission did not agree with Jacobs’ arguments.

But the commission did not agree.  The fact that Manhoef was knocked out by Shlemenko may have played a role in his penalty.  Of course, Shlemenko’s tests were another reason.  Per MMA Junkie, the tests revealed the steroid oxandrolone and oxandrolone metabolites as well as a testosterone-to-epitestosterone (T/E) ratio of 50-1 in Shlemenko’s post-fight urine test (the commission’s limit is 4-1).

It is not known if Shlemenko will appeal but if he does not, at 31 years old, it’s unlikely we’ll see him fight again.

UPDATED:  According to Combat Sport Law’s Erik Magraken, Shlemenko will seek judicial review of the commission ruling.  I would expect that this will happen more if commission’s seek to dole out these stiff penalties.  Realistically, what does Shlemenko have to lose?  His career is likely over if he accepts the punishment.

Payout Perspective:

One would think that if Shlemenko has a compelling case, his attorney could still appeal the commission decision by seeking a judicial review in a California Superior Court.  The heavy-handed penalty reflects a newfound position by athletic commissions in light of the UFC’s stance on PEDs.  There is an argument that the penalty is unjust but the commission can point to the glaring test results and the T/E ratio to justify its suspension.  Moreover, the TKO victory might have persuaded commissioners to allow the penalty as one commissioner put it that Shlemenko could have killed Manhoef.  We shall see if this decision will be appealed.

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